High Point Men’s Lacrosse Edged by No. 2 Maryland, 16-14

• Senior Connor Robinson scored three of his four goals during HPU’s 5-0 run through the middle of the contest.
• Freshman Asher Nolting tallied two goals, two assists and three ground balls in the game.
• Sophomore Davis Sampere won a career-best 17 face-offs in 31 attempts while adding another career high scooping up nine ground balls.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Despite falling behind by seven early, the High Point University men’s lacrosse team stormed back to pull within one with 4:16 on the clock. However, Maryland was able to tally the final goal and hang on for a 16-14 win in Vert Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The second-ranked Terrapins (3-0) jumped out to a 10-3 lead before the Panthers (0-3) tallied five straight – anchored by three from senior Connor Robinson – to tighten the game with the defending national champions.

HPU’s 5-0 spurt left the Purple & White trailing by just two early in the third. But Maryland responded with back-to-back goals to go back up 12-8. High Point then pulled within one, 12-11, on freshman Koby Russell’s first career goal at the 5:17 mark of the third.

Though the Terrapins answered, HPU cut the deficit to one two more times, at 13:34 in the fourth and at 4:16, but couldn’t even the score as the Terrapins held on.

“I’m proud of the way the guys battled back against a really good team that’s coming off winning the national championship last year and has one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” head coach Jon Torpey said. “Coming off a short turnaround for both teams, we tried to give our guys an opportunity to have some confidence, play looser and more aggressively and I was blown away by the way the guys had a next-play mentality during our comeback. I’m excited about our opportunity to continue to grow from this as we moved forward.”

Robinson paced the HPU offense with four goals to tie a career high while picking up four ground balls. Freshman Asher Nolting also scored four points (2g, 2a,) and scooped up three ground balls in the contest.

At the face-off ‘X’ sophomore Davis Sampere set career highs in face-off wins (17) and ground balls (9). Overall, High Point won the face-off battle 17-16 while Maryland picked up 36 ground balls compared to HPU’s 30.

Joining the goal scoring, senior Chris Young and sophomore Dalton Sulver each tallied two goals with it being the first multi-goal game of Sulver’s career. Likewise, senior Peyton Garrett and sophomore Mitchel Snyder both scored goals as Russell and sophomore Chris Price posted the first tallies of their careers.

In the goal, senior Zach Tuell got the start and stopped six shots while junior Tim Troutner Jr. came on in relief making six saves. Defensively, the Panthers caused seven turnovers led by freshman Clayton Krol’s two. One the day, five of Maryland’s goals came during its eight EMOs while the Panthers went 2-of-3 in man-up situations.

Rounding out the scoring, senior Jason Ashwood dished out an assist. High Point’s 14 goals were the most against a John Tillman-coached Maryland team in a regular season contest.

The Panthers couldn’t stay out of the penalty box in the first quarter as the Terrapins offset goals by Sulver and Robinson with four EMO goals to build a 6-2 edge.

By the 5:27 mark of the second quarter, Maryland pulled ahead by seven at 10-3. But the Panthers answered. Nolting scored before Robinson added a man-up goal at the 1:44 mark to make it 10-5.

Less than a minute later, Robinson scooped up a loose ball and buried it for his third goal of the game with 47 seconds left in the half. Then, with the clock running down Price notched his first career goal with a bouncer at the buzzer from just outside the box to send the game to the half with HPU trailing 10-7.

Robinson kept the momentum rolling of an assist from Nolting nine seconds into the second half to make it 10-8. But Maryland responded regaining a four-goal edge with 8:22 left in the third.

Once again, the Purple & White registered a flurry of goals as Young, Snyder and Russell scored to cut the deficit to one, 12-11, for the first time since the 3:30 mark of the first. However, the Terrapins bounced back with two straight to up the lead to three again before Young and Sulver cut it to one, 14-13, with 13:34 to go.

Minutes later sophomore Nate Carter got a transition look to tie, but the shot was stopped by the Terrapin keeper Dan Morris. On the ensuing possession, Maryland responded with its fifth man-up goal of the afternoon to regain a two-goal lead.

The Panthers wouldn’t lie down though, cutting it to one again on Nolting’s second goal with 4:16 to play. Sampere came up huge forcing a face-off violation to give HPU a chance to tie. However, the possession ended with a turnover and Maryland capitalized scoring with the shot clock on to close out the 16-14 win.

The Panthers remain at home on Tuesday to host Virginia at 7:00 p.m. in Vert Stadium.