Early Strikes Stoke HPU MSOC to 2-1 Win at Radford

• High Point withstood a late Radford charge to earn its second conference road win of the season, 2-1, on Saturday night
• Senior Ebe Kudolo scored his first goal of the season in the sixth minute on a curled ball from 25 yards away.
• Redshirt-junior Justen Shear added his career-high third goal in the 18th minute on a blast from inside the penalty area.

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University men’s soccer team pounced for two early goals and held on late for a thrilling 2-1 victory over Radford on Saturday evening at Cupp Stadium.

“That was our best start all year and it’s something that we’ve been preaching to our guys,” head coach EJ O’Keeffe said. “They executed what we’ve been working on the last couple days and found two deserving goals. We changed our tactics in the second half with a two-goal lead and we knew Radford was going to give us everything they had. We were able to withstand it and respond after our performance on Wednesday. To come in here against the team at the top of the table in our league and leave with three points is a great response as we head into two home games next week.”

HPU (4-4-3, 2-1-0) got off to a tremendous start, dominating possession from the opening kick. The Panthers capitalized on the possession with a goal in the sixth minute. Redshirt-sophomore Bana Ganidekam made a strong run down the left flank that resulted in a throw-in.

The ball immediately came in to senior Ebe Kudolo, who, with plenty of time and space, drilled a curling shot from 25 yards out that bent just inside the far post for an early 1-0 advantage. The marker was Kudolo’s fifth of his career and first since Sep. 4, 2016 vs St. Bonaventure.

The Panthers continued to press and found an insurance tally in the 18th minute. Sophomore Ryan Inman’s corner kick from the right side nestled into the middle of the box before it skittered to redshirt-junior Justen Shear. After a dribble to his right, Shear soared the shot to the upper right corner, pushing the HPU advantage to 2-0.

For Shear, it was his team-leading third goal of the season and fifth of his career. The Clemson transfer had combined for just two goals in the last two seasons.

High Point avoided danger in the 29th minute when the Highlanders (6-3-2, 2-1-1) were awarded a penalty kick. Radford’s Kieran Roberts, who entered the match second in the nation with 11 goals, sent the opportunity high off the crossbar to keep HPU on top by a pair.

Neither team was able to find a shot in the opening 20 minutes of the second half before the Highlanders sent a header wide in the 65th minute.

Sophomore goalkeeper Keegan Meyer made a series of saves in the final 20 minutes to keep the lead in tact. The best of the stops came in the 83rd minute when Sivert Daehile provided a last-minute headed deflection that Meyer reacted to by diving to his left and ushering the ball outside the post.

Radford would convert the ensuing corner kick on a Daehile header to slice the deficit to 2-1. However, High Point was able to hang on and avoided one final chance that was sent high in the final minute to earn the victory.

The Highlanders finished the match with a 12-6 edge in shots, including 7-5 in shots on net. Meyer made six stops in goal, including three in the final 15 minutes.

High Point now returns home for its final non-conference match of the year on Wednesday against Loyola (Md.). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.