HPU Men’s Lax: No. 10 HPU Beats VMI, 18-9

• Sophomore Asher Nolting scored a career-high five goals.
• Sophomore Koby Russell logged a career-high three assists.
• The Panthers won 27-of-30 face-offs.

LEXINGTON, Va. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team defeated VMI, 18-9, Friday, March 15, to open Southern Conference play.

High Point (7-1, 1-0) out-shot VMI (3-3, 0-2) 47-35 with 26 of HPU’s shots coming on goal and 21 of VMI’s hitting the target. The Panthers went 27-3 at the face-off ‘X’ and recorded a .917 clearing percentage (22-24). The Purple & White picked up 46 ground balls to VMI’s 28.

“Tonight was a good overall team effort,” HPU head coach Jon Torpey said. “I was proud of the way our guys executed the game plan. The tone was set early on with the way we competed at the face-off ‘X’. Anytime you play VMI you can expect their team to be very well coached and compete extremely hard, tonight was no exception.”

Sophomore Asher Nolting led the Panthers with a career-high five goals and one assist, while redshirt senior Chris Young added three goals and one assist. Sophomore Koby Russell logged a team and career-high three assists. Junior Davis Sampere was the leader at the face-off ‘X’ for HPU going 17-19 and picking a up a team-high 12 ground balls.

The Panthers opened the game with a 4-0 run with goals from Nolting, Young and freshmen Adam Ritter and Hunter Vines. The Keydets scored their first goal with 5:55 left in the first quarter. HPU responded with two goals from Young and led 6-1 after the first quarter.

Nolting opened the second quarter scoring with a goal at the 11:44 mark. VMI scored its second goal with 10:04 left in the half. Nolting added four and sophomore Sean Coughlin scored a goal for HPU to stretch the High Point lead to 11-2 at halftime. Russell dished out two assists, while senior Jake Schleppy, Nolting, Young and sophomore Tyler Stinson all pitched in one assist for High Point in the first half.

The Panthers put 14 shots on goal, grabbed 26 ground balls and went 13-13 on clears in the first half. HPU was 13-15 at the face-off ‘X’ in the first half.

The Purple & White added six goals in the third quarter with Vines, seniors Griff Caligiuri and Brandon Savoie and juniors Ben Baker and Dalton Sulver scoring for HPU. Sulver scored the lone goal for the Purple & White in the fourth quarter.

Savoie and sophomore Jack Cook combined to go 9-9 at the face-off ‘X’ for HPU. Baker, Sulver and Vines all scored two goals for the Purple & White. Senior Tim Troutner Jr. made a team-high eight saves in the cage for the Panthers. Redshirt sophomore Griffin Basile saved a career-high four shots for HPU.

Up next, the Panthers will continue conference play in Jacksonville, Fla. as they take on Jacksonville. The opening face-off is set for 12 p.m.