HPU MLAX Panthers Hunt SoCon Title in Showdown with Bears

WHEN: Saturday, April 28 | 12:00 p.m. EST
WHERE: Vert Stadium | High Point, N.C.
RECORDS: High Point (5-7, 5-1), Mercer (4-9, 2-4)
SERIES RECORD: Series tied 3-3
LAST MEETING: Mercer won 12-11 in overtime at Mercer on April 1, 2017
VIDEO: Big South Network
LIVE STATS: HighPointPanthers.Com
GAME NOTES: HighPointPanthers.Com

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team hosts Mercer on Saturday at noon in Vert Stadium with a chance to clinch at least a share of the Southern Conference regular season title.

The Panthers (5-7, 5-1) are riding a four-game winning streak after pulling out a thrilling 7-6 victory at Air Force last Saturday. Meanwhile, the Bears enter their regular season finale with a 4-9 record overall and a 2-4 mark in SoCon action.

Quick Hitters
• Freshman Asher Nolting, already the HPU single-season record holder with 57 points, is two goals and an assist from becoming the first player in program and conference history with a 30-goal, 30-assist campaign.
• Nolting is averaging 4.75 points and 2.42 assists per contest this spring. Both of those marks would be HPU and SoCon single-season records. He is first among freshmen nationally in points per outing and second in assists.
• Senior Connor Robinson and Nolting rank first and second in the SoCon, respectively, in goals per game. Along with Sacred Heart’s Max Tuttle and Joe Saggese, HPU’s duo is one of two sets of teammates to rank No. 1 and No. 2 in their conference in goal scoring.
• During the squad’s four-game winning streak, the defense has limited opponents to 7.26 goals per game as junior Tim Troutner Jr. has registered a .611 save percentage during the run.
• Sophomore Davis Sampere has excelled at the face-off ‘X’ over the last three games winning 42-of-58 (.724) with 24 ground balls and the first three goals of his career.
• After accounting for just 33 percent of the team’s goals in the first nine games, the midfielders have tallied 25 of the team’s 49 goals over the last four games.
• The Panthers’ defense allowed Bellarmine to go 2-of-4 in EMOs during their SoCon opener. Since then the squad has limited opponents to just one goal on 12 tries without allowing an EMO goal in the last three games.
• High Point leads the SoCon with an average margin of victory of 4.17 goals per game against league foes, but at home that mark jumps to 6.33 per contest.
• The four-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest stretch in program history. With a win, the Panthers can tie the 2016 squad for the second-longest streak.
• The seven-goal output at Air Force snapped an HPU record streak of nine games with at least 10 goals. Despite that, the team is still posting 11.25 goals per game, which is the highest in program history and 23rd-highest in the nation.
• Playing without a senior class in its first season, this is High Point’s fifth senior day. On the previous four senior days, the team has posted a 2-2 mark.

SoCon Standings Outlook
The Panthers, who were picked to finish fifth in the preseason, are tied atop the league standings along with Richmond. A win over Mercer would clinch at least a share of the SoCon crown, but a win combined with a UR loss to Air Force would give HPU the outright title.

On-Going Streaks
• Nolting has scored at least three points in 12 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in HPU history. Along with Yale’s Ben Reeves, Nolting is one of two players nationally to score at least three points in every one of his team’s contests this season.

• Robinson has scored at least one goal in 17 consecutive games dating back to April 1, 2017 at Mercer, which is tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. The longest run in program history is Dan Lomas’ 23-game stretch with at least one goal.

Canadian Influence
• Robinson, Chris Young, Tyler Stinson and Adam Dickson have combined to score 56 goals in 2018, which is 41.5 percent of the team’s tallies on the year. That’s the second-highest percentage of Canadian goals in program history behind 2013 when Lomas (36) and Michael Messenger (15) scored 41.8 percent of the team’s goals.
• In the history of the program, Canadians have accounted for 308 of HPU’s 881 goals (35.0 percent) despite representing just seven percent of the all-time roster.

All-Time Series with Mercer
No team has played HPU closer than Mercer. The all-time series is tied 3-3 with five meetings being determined by two or fewer goals including two of HPU’s five overtime games have come against Mercer.

Last Time They Met
Last season HPU led 12-9 with 2:10 remaining in regulation before the Bears stormed back to tie the score before winning 13-12 in overtime. In the setback, Robinson and Jason Ashwood tallied a goal apiece.

All-Time Mark Against the SoCon
High Point is 20-11 all-time in conference play between the Atlantic Sun and Southern Conference. In league home games, HPU has posted an 11-5 mark.

Next Up
The Panthers have qualified for next weekend’s SoCon Championship in Richmond, Va. on Thursday and Saturday. However, the team could play in either semifinal on Thursday depending on the outcomes of the regular season finales. The No. 1 and No. 4 seeds will play at 5:30 p.m. while the No. 2 vs. No. 3 showdown takes place at 8:00 p.m.