Site: High Point, N.C. (Vert Stadium)
Score: High Point 21, Robert Morris 15
Records: High Point (1-0), Robert Morris (0-2)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, February 16th, — at #2 North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team (1-0) opened up the season with a 21-15 win in Vert Stadium over Robert Morris (0-2) on Saturday afternoon. The 21 goals are the most a Panther team has scored in a season opener. Kevin Rogers scored an impressive four goals in his debut as a Panther. Rogers also added two assists for six points. Dalton Sulver tied Rogers for the most goals on HPU on Saturday as the fellow grad student scored four in the win. Asher Nolting started his senior season in spectacular fashion as he led the Purple and White in points with seven. The Panther’s offensive firepower was on full display as five Panthers ended the game with hat tricks.
“That was a long time coming,” Head Coach Jon Torpey said following the season-opening win.” “That’s an unbelievable team that’s incredibly well-coached, they are never out of it, they push transition like no other, they are great in the subgame they got us a bunch of time today. I thought at times we played a little undisciplined but to get a win over a top 20 quality opponent like those guys is fantastic. I am just so happy for our guys, there were incredible emotions in our locker room with having our three fifth-year guys back, all the seniors, and playing for a group of seniors that is no longer with us, that was special.”
The Panthers got started early in this one with Rogers scoring the first goal of the season in the first two minutes of the contest. Rogers drove towards the goal and finished to the delight of his teammates who greeted him with hugs. RMU answered with a goal but Hunter Vines quickly struck for the Panthers to put them up 2-1 with 8:42 to go in the first quarter. Vines’ goal kicked off a three-goal run for The Panthers. Nolting added the third goal of the run as he put HPU up 4-1 with an explosive shot as he jumped finished with authority. As the Colonials scored and threatened to tie the game up after bringing the score to 4-3 with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter the Panthers went on another run. Sulver, Devon Buckshot, and Jaxson Lamb all scored to drive the Panther lead up to 7-3 after one.
The Panther run carried over to the second quarter as Rogers scored again to push the Panther lead to 8-3 in the opening moments of the second quarter. Nolting recorded four points in the second quarter alone as he scored two goals and added two assists. Sulver scored with 3:33 remaining in the second to make it 12-7. HPU took the five-goal lead into halftime.
High Point showed no signs of slowing down out of the half as freshman Brayden Mayea scored to add to the Panther lead 13-8 with 13:40 to play in the third quarter. Mayea added another goal with 9:36 to play in the third to give himself three goals on the day. Buckshot added two goals near the end of the third quarter to which gave him a hattrick as well.
Just as he was at the start, Rogers was extremely engaged in the fourth quarter as he scored a goal and added an assist to bring the Panther total up to 21. Rogers exploded for six points on the day in his D-I debut.
Antonio Arcona picked up the win in the cage as the senior made ten saves and caused a turnover in the win over Robert Morris.
The 21-15 victory is the most goals HPU has ever scored in a season-opening game. The 21-goal output is the most the Purple and White have scored in a single game since March 9th, 2019 when HPU defeated UMBC 22-13.
UP NEXT: The Panthers look to carry this momentum over to Tuesday as the Panthers travel to Chapel Hill to face #2, North Carolina in a nationally televised game at 2:00 PM on the ACC Network.