No. 19 HPU MLAX’s Comeback Falls Just Short Against No. 9 UVA

Site: Charlottesville, Va. (Klockner Stadium)
Score: #9 Virginia 12, #19 High Point 11
Records: #9 Virginia (4-1), #19 High Point (1-3)
Next HPU Event: Wednesday, March 10th, — at #1 Duke (Durham, N.C.)

Charlottesville, Va. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 9 Virginia 12-11 on Wednesday (March 3rd) as their comeback just ran out of time. Kevin Rogers, Dalton Sulver, and Brayden Mayea all ended the day with a team-high two goals on the day. Asher Nolting led HPU in points on the day with three. Nolting’s three points extended his point streak to 42 games.

“This game is always a battle each and every year”, Coach Jon Torpey said after the close game with UVA. “Ton of credit to UVA and their staff. As for us, I believe we had opportunities to win but we just struggled to capitalize when it counted. Nonetheless, our team’s fight and resiliency are special and I’m honored to coach such a great group. Down 6-1 and after the result we suffered on Saturday I wasn’t sure how they would respond but we dug in and played HPU lacrosse.”

Virginia opened up the game hot scoring the first three goals of the contest. Senior Koby Russell snapped the Cavaliers scoring streak and scored his second goal of the season to make it 3-1 with 9:02 to go in the first. UVA rattled off three more goals to bring the Hoos’ lead to 6-1 at the end of the first quarter.

The Panthers answered the big first quarter for the Cavaliers with a massive run of their own in the second quarter. Clayton Krol got the run started for High Point as the senior defender from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania launched a shot from deep on a breakaway providing the second pole goal of the contest. AJ Kiernan recorded the first goal in his High Point career as Kiernan scored after winning the faceoff. Kiernan’s goal made it 6-3 with 12:50 to go in the first half. Nolting found Rogers less than a minute later to make it a two-goal game. Rogers collected his 11th goal of the season. Rogers facilitated the next goal as he assisted a shot from Sulver that the graduate student bounced through the legs of the UVA goalie. Sulver’s highlight-reel goal made it 6-5 with 11:08 remaining in the half. Rogers assist on the Sulver between-the-legs goal was Rogers’ 200th career point. Later in the second quarter, Nolting got the better of a one on one matchup from x and scored to tie the game at six with 7:32 remaining in the quarter. UVA scored two at the end of the half to take an 8-6 advantage into the break.

UVA opened up the third with a goal to extend their lead to 9-6 with 13:56 to go in the third. Nolting picked up his second assist of the day with 12:50 to play as he assisted Sulver who scored his second of the day. Sulver’s goal brought the Cavalier lead back down to two (9-7). Two more UVA goals extended the Virginia lead to 11-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

Vines started the fourth quarter by showing off his elusiveness as the junior was able to break free and create space and score the opening goal of the quarter. Vines made it 11-8 as the Panthers looked to battle back. After a UVA goal pushed it back out to four Rogers dialed up a big one as he stepped down and scored to again make it a three-goal game. The freshman Mayea scored the last two goals of the game. Mayea’s first goal of the fourth quarter came with 7:40 remaining in the game to make it a two-goal game. The Panthers and Cavaliers exchanged possession back and forth in the last seven minutes as HPU looked for two more. Mayea took advantage of a man-up opportunity in the last minute of the game as the freshman scored as time expired to give the Panthers 11.

The Wednesday afternoon result marks the second time this season the Panthers dropped a close one on the ACC Network. The Panthers have one more regular season game against an ACC opponent as they will face No. 1 Duke in Durham a week from this contest on March 10th. It will be HPU’s fourth straight game against an ACC opponent this season. Next Wednesday’s game against Duke will mark HPU’s third time on national television this season as the Panthers will be in primetime against No. 1 Duke with the first faceoff at 7:00 PM.