HPU MSOC Tames Wildcats In Davidson

• Newcomers Ilias Kosmidis and Tony Pineda tallied their first goals in Purple & White this Monday, as High Point University men’s soccer defeated Davidson 2-1 on the road
• Junior transfer Kosmidis scored his first tally off the first HPU PK of the year in the 11th minute against the Wildcats
• Freshman Pineda scored just 24 minutes later, as both of the Panthers’ finishes came in the first half
• The Panthers came within 22 seconds of their second straight shutout victory, but a late PK conversion from Davidson ruined the visiting team’s clean sheet

DAVIDSON, N.C. – High Point University men’s soccer got out to a hot start on Monday, scoring a pair of goals in the first 45 minutes, on the way to 2-1 victory on the road at Davidson College.

The Panthers controlled the pace of play from the first whistle, gaining heavy advantage in the possession category during the first half. The visiting side’s consistent pressure led to an early foul called from inside the 18, giving HPU its first penalty of the 2018 campaign. Newcomer Ilias Kosmidis buried his first PK opportunity of the season in the bottom left corner, improving his point total to three on the year.

Head Coach EJ O’Keeffe’s squad would add another tally just 24 minutes later, with freshman Tony Pineda scoring one of the most exciting goals of the young season. The forward from Statesville, N.C. beat three defenders on the dribble before delivering a strike to the right upper-90 from 18 yards out, giving his team a two-goal advantage.

“Goals change games.” said Coach O’Keeffe after the match. “I thought that [the first goal] changed the dynamic. I felt we were playing well and we were very dangerous in the first half.”

Leading by a pair at the break, the Wildcats attempted to pull back even with their opponents, with an increased amount of pressure in the latter 45 minutes. Continuing to hold the ball, the Panthers would take large chunks of time off the clock, while managing to find multiple opportunities of their own.

With 10 minutes remaining, High Point would come within inches of improving their lead to three, as a well-driven corner from defending midfielder Ryan Inman was headed just wide. The Panthers missed opportunities would prove to come back and bite them in the end, as some extended pressure from the Wildcats in the final minute, led to a PK goal for the home team, with just :22 ticks remaining on the game clock.

While unable to pull out the shutout, HPU’s victory is their second to start the season and ties their all-time series with Davidson at 3-3-4.

“Overall, I’m really please with the guys’ effort for tonight, especially coming off a relatively quick turn around.” O’Keeffe commented. “With Davidson not having a game over the weekend, they were fresh. I thought that the effort that we put forth and the commitment to compete was top notch.”

>> Pineda’s goal is the first of his college career, putting him in a three-way tie for team-high in points (3)
>> With 90 minutes played against Davidson, senior defender Johnny Fenwick has played every minute for the Panthers so far this season
>> Coming within 22 seconds of his 15th career clean sheet, goalkeeper Keegan Meyer added three saves on the night
>> Six different players had attempts on goal against the Wildcats, with four shots coming from HPU’s bench

High Point University will only have a few days off before getting back on the road against ETSU, facing off with the Bucs in Johnson City, Tenn this Friday at 7 p.m.