HIGH POINT, N.C. – After completing one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in High Point University men’s soccer history, Panthers forward Tony Pineda was honored with a Second-Team Freshman All-America honor from College Soccer News this Wednesday.
Finishing third in the Big South with seven goals and 19 points on the year, Pineda led all conference U20s in both categories, to collect Big South Freshman of the Year honors back in November. Since that distinction, the true freshman helped his side to its first NCAA Championship Tournament appearance in history, in addition to ranking 45th in this year’s Top Drawer Soccer Top-100 Freshmen list.
The Statesville product’s 2018 goal total (7) sits second among all Panther freshmen since the program joined the Division I circuit in 1999, trailing only current teammate Siggi Benonysson for the all-time record (10). Pineda is just the fifth High Point athlete to receive Freshman All-America status from College Soccer News, and just the second to finish above a third-team spot.
Adding to his Big South Freshman of the Year status, the winger/striker was one of six Panthers to earn First-Team All-Big South honors and one of two to receive all-freshman status in 2018. Pineda’s performance further boosted his team’s most successful season in history, as the Panthers ranked as high as 12th in the national polls this year and recorded their second straight Big South regular season title.
With over 90 percent of HPU’s offense returning for 2019, Pineda and the rest of the Panthers attack are expected to further improve on a squad that ranked 43rd nationally in goals per game (1.67), bringing back all five of their top point-getters from the previous campaign.