• High Point University men’s soccer earns its fourth consecutive win in 1-0 shutout victory at Winthrop
• The Panthers’ win is their fourth shutout of the season, as the club has failed to surrender a goal in 287 consecutive minutes
• Ilias Kosmidis added to his already league-leading goal total, scoring his eighth of the year in the 43rd minute
ROCK HILL, S.C. – High Point University men’s soccer continued a number of streaks this Saturday night, shutting out hosts Winthrop 1-0 to improve its Big South record to 3-0-0 on the year. The Panthers are now on a four-match winning streak after vanquishing the Eagles, and are currently pitching 287 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer.
“It’s always great to get three points on the road,” said Head Coach EJ O’Keeffe. “I thought it was a really good performance in the first 65 minutes. We left two or three goals on the field and didn’t put them away, so the final minutes were tight. We did a great job keeping another shutout, and that’s something we need to keep going as conference play continues.”
The opening minutes of Saturday’s contest were a physical affair with the Eagles and Panthers combining for seven fouls in the starting 16 minutes. HPU had all the offense in the starting 45, with Jonathan Bolanos hitting the first shot of the night, and Big South leading goal-scorer Ilias Kosmidis recording the first on-target-attempt of the evening.
It would be Kosmidis to open the contests’ scoring during the 43rd minute, heading in a corner delivered by midfielder Ryan Inman. The tally improves Kosmidis’ goal total to a league-high of eight, while Inman’s helper is his second of the season, with both of his assists coming off of corner deliveries.
Sitting a goal back to start the second half, the home side searched for an equalizer immediately out of the break. Starting goalkeeper Keegan Meyer was able to snuff out the Eagles’ biggest opportunity of the night, during the 50th minute, securing a ball driven from the top of the 18 by Winthrop midfielder Lief Estevez.
The Eagles were only able to get just three more shots off for the remainder of the contest, with the Panthers’ defense blocking a pair of those attempts. Four of Winthrop’s five shots on the night came in the second half alone, with HPU outshooting their hosts by a final of 14-5. While he was tested only twice, Meyer was a brick wall for the Panthers at the back, making a pair of saves for his fourth clean sheet of the year and the 17th of his career.
With HPU’s defense stifling the Eagle attack, the final score would end 1-0 in favor of visiting High Point, giving Coach O’Keeffe’s side its fourth straight win, and extending its current shutout streak to 287 consecutive minutes.
>> Winthrop’s 24 fouls dwarfed the Panthers’ 13, as the Eagles were provided four yellow cards on the evening
>> High Point scored directly off a corner for the second time this conference season, while three of the club’s six goals against Big South opponents have come off of set pieces
>> Kosmidis has scored five goals in his last four appearances, his eight goals and 18 points are both conference-highs. With seven regular season matches remaining, he is seven tallies away from tying a D1 program record
COMING UP NEXT
• The Panthers roll into October next week, hosting UNC Asheville at 7 p.m. this coming Wednesday
• HPU holds a severe historical advantage against the Bulldogs, with an all-time record of 21-6-2 against UNCA