No. 11 High Point MLAX Cruises Past Jacksonville to Advance to the SoCon Championship

• Freshman Hunter Vines led High Point with a career-high four goals.
• The 14-goal margin between HPU and JU marks the largest margin of victory ever in the SoCon Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
• The Panthers advance to the Southern Conference Championship game on Saturday, May 4.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team defeated Jacksonville, 17-3, on Thursday, May 2, at Vert Stadium. The 14-goal margin is the largest margin of victory in Southern Conference (SoCon) Championship history. With the win, HPU advances to the SoCon Championship game on Saturday, May 4.

High Point (13-2, 6-1) grabbed 31 ground balls, while Jacksonville (6-9, 5-2) picked up 25. The Panthers went 12-23 on face-offs and 21-21 on clear opportunities. HPU caused nine turnovers and only allowed the Dolphins 13 clears in 18 attempts.

“I thought coach Kenny [Broschart], coach [Justin] Tuma and coach [Connor] McKemey had a great game plan at the face-off ‘X’, on offense and on defense,” HPU head coach Jon Torpey said. “We talked a lot about just executing the game plan at this point in the season and I thought our guys did a terrific job of that today.”

Freshman Hunter Vines led the Panthers with five points on a career-high four goals and one assist. Sophomore Asher Nolting logged four points with three goals and one assist. Junior Davis Sampere grabbed a team-high six ground balls and won 11 face-offs, while senior Tim Troutner made 13 saves in the cage for the Purple & White.

Vines scored the first goal of the game for the Panthers with an assist from senior Ryan McLaughlin. Nolting put HPU up 2-0 with 7:23 left in the first quarter. The Purple & White led 3-0 at the close of the first quarter after senior Jake Schleppy scored with 1:57 left in the quarter.

Sophomore Koby Russell scored with 7:20 left in the second quarter to stretch HPU’s lead to 4-0. Vines recorded his second of the day with an assist from Russell with 1:25 remaining in the first half. High Point took a 5-0 lead into the break.

Sophomore Sean Coughlin got the scoring started in the second half off an assist from Nolting. The Panthers went up 7-0 after Nolting logged his second of the day off an assist from sophomore Riley Smith. Junior Dalton Sulver scored with 11:25 left in the third quarter off an assist from Vines to push the Panthers’ lead to 8-0.

Troutner Jr. hit redshirt-sophomore Chris Price with a pass as he streaked across the middle of the field late in the third quarter. Price carried the ball down the field and scored for the fourth time in his career and Toutner’s third career-assist. Vines sealed the hat trick with at 5:51 left in the third and the Panthers led 10-0. Junior Ricky Koehler netted a goal then Sulver quickly followed with his second of the day off an assist from junior Nate Carter to put HPU up 12-0. After the Dolphins first goal of the game, Smith logged his second goal of the season and High Point led 13-1 after three quarters of play.

With 12:30 left in the fourth, Nolting scored his third of the game and 43rd of the season to put HPU up 14-1. The goal tied the HPU single-season goals record previously set by Dan Lomas in 2015. After a Jacksonville goal, the Panthers went on a 3-0 run to stretch the lead to 17-2 with goals coming from Sampere, Vines and McLaughlin.

High Point will face the winner of Air Force and Richmond in the SoCon Championship game on Saturday, May 4, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line. The opening face-off is set for 12 p.m. at Vert Stadium.