• Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Keegan Meyer established a new career high with seven saves
• HPU became the first team to hold No. 4 Wake Forest, the NCAA’s top scoring squad, without a goal through regulation this season
• The Panthers open up conference play on Saturday at UNC Asheville at 6 p.m.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team pushed No. 4 Wake Forest into double overtime before falling 1-0 in the 105th minute on Tuesday evening at Spry Stadium. Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Keegan Meyer made seven saves to set a new career high.
“I’m proud to be the coach of this team,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “While it isn’t the result we wanted, the way we battled was second to none. Wake is a top program with great players and excellent coaching staff. We created some good looks in front of the net and just couldn’t find a goal. We learned a lot from this game and what it takes to truly compete. We will bring that same commitment each and every game. Now, we have to transition to the biggest game of the year thus far, the conference opener at UNC Asheville.”
HPU (2-3-2) played in its third straight overtime match and needed extra time for the fourth time in the last five matches. The Panthers are now 1-2-2 in their last five matchups against Top 25 foes, with four of the matches reaching double overtime.
One of the Panthers best opportunity came early in the 11th minute. Off a counter attack, sophomore Jonathan Bolanos had his long shot blocked, but a scramble ensued inside the box. However, Wake goalkeeper Andreu Cases Mundet was able to secure the ball off the scramble to nullify the chance.
The Purple & White ended with two shots in the first half while dealing with the potent Demon Deacon attack. Wake Forest (7-1-0) entered the night leading the NCAA with 22 goals, but could not find much traction against the unified HPU defense. Meyer made his first save in the first 23rd minute on a routine chance and ended up with four saves in the first half.
Wake Forest increased the pressure in the second half, coming close on a couple occasions. In the 61st minute, junior Rashid Tetteh helped out Meyer with what was recorded as team save. Tetteh was holding the right post and was able to clear a ball off the line after it snuck past Meyer. In the 75th minute, the Deacs’ Omir Fernandez hit the post and the ball ricocheted off Meyer, who rolled on his back to keep the ball out of the net.
The game eventually reached overtime when the Panthers had the first chance for the game-winning tally in the 92nd minute. A flick into the middle of the box nearly found the foot of sophomore Siggi Benonysson before it was punched away by Cases Mundet. HPU was whistled for two yellow cards later in the first OT and eventually a red card was issued to Ryeong Choi in the 99th minute.
Wake Forest took advantage of being a man up in the second overtime, tilting the field in their favor. The Demon Deacons broke through with the winning tally in the 105th minute that started on a cross from outside the right of the box. Jon Bakero corralled the cross and went low right post past Meyer for the game-winner.
The Deacs held a 25-2 edge in shots, including 9-0 in shots on net. Wake Forest earned 11 corner kicks to High Point’s one.
HPU now turns its attention to Big South play which opens on Saturday at UNC Asheville. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on the Big South Network.