• No. 12 High Point University men’s soccer works to 1-1 draw against hosts Campbell on Wednesday
• The Panthers retain the only undefeated conference record in the Big South, boasting a 5-0-1 record
• Freshman Tony Pineda added his sixth goal of the year in the second half, while keeper Keegan Meyer collected four stops in total
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – No. 12 High Point University men’s soccer maintained their undefeated record in conference play this Wednesday, working to a 1-1 double overtime draw with Campbell. The tie gives the Panthers a 5-0-1 record against Big South opponents this year, as they remain atop the conference standings.
“We have a lot of belief,” said Coach EJ O’Keeffe on his team’s play in extra time. “We’ve been able to grind out some wins this year. I thought our guys were fresh and fit, and kept driving, especially in the second overtime. I thought we were really good, unfortunately we ran out of time.”
HPU took control of things in the opening stages against the Camels, winning the possession battle and reeling off four unanswered shot in the first 15 minutes. Just when it seemed as though Campbell would be no match for the 12th-ranked Panthers, the home side began to find chances of their own, forcing starting goalkeeper Keegan Meyer to make a pair of stops before the break.
With both sides getting their chances, and neither able to break the stalemate, the pair entered into the second half at 0-0, the first time in three weeks HPU has not been able to earn a tally in the first half. The even score line would not be retained for long however, as the Panthers came roaring into the second, scoring just four minutes into the period.
Putting away his sixth of the season in the 49th, freshman Tony Pineda scored from inside the 18 to put his team ahead by one. Driving toward the left side end line, the forward pulled back control of the ball from 12 yards out, just before delivering a strike into the lower right corner.
It wouldn’t take long for the home side to strike back however, as the Camels responded with a goal of their own less than two minutes later. Both sides had opportunities to break the second tie of the night, with HPU midfielder Jonathan Bolanos nearly netting a go ahead goal in the 57th. Meyer would make another two saves in the second half to keep Campbell off the board in the final 20 minutes, as the Panthers were forced to enter overtime for the fourth time this season.
With the Camels appearing a bit gassed, the majority of the chances in extra time would belong to the Panthers, outshooting the home squad 4-2. Bana Ganidekam had the best look for High Point during the second half, sending an absolute laser of a shot just inches over the Campbell crossbar.
The final score would end at 1-1 to maintain the Panthers’ current undefeated run in conference play. The program has yet to lose to a Big South team this season, and remains the lone unbeaten team in conference play at 5-0-1.
>> Eight different Panthers pulled the trigger tonight, with Ganidekam leading the way at three shots
>> Eight yellow cards were handed out over the course of the night, five of which belonged to the Camels. That’s the most cards handed out to any HPU opponent this season
>> The Panthers have yet to lose a regular season Big South game in 12 straight contests, dating back to 2017. With two more wins this year, they would go undefeated in conference play for the first time since 2010.
COMING UP NEXT
• The Panthers wrap up their home schedule this Saturday, celebrating senior day against Radford inside Vert Stadium at 7 p.m.
• HPU is on a three-game winning streak against the Highlanders, dropping Radford 2-1 on the road last October