Site: High Point, N.C. (Vert Stadium)
Score: High Point 16, Mercer 10
Records: High Point (4-5, 3-1), Mercer (4-6, 1-2)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, April 24th at Air Force Academy
HIGHT POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team continued its winning ways at home on Senior Day with a 16-10 win over conference foe Mercer.
The Panthers peppered the Mercer defense with 48 shots and used a balanced scoring attack to improve their conference record to 3-1. The Panthers were led in scoring by a trio of seniors. Asher Nolting led the Panthers with 6 points, while fellow senior Dalton Sulver had 5 points, with 4 of them being goals. Fellow senior Kevin Rogers also added four goals on the day to lead the Panthers to victory. The Panthers were also able to neutralize the face-off from Mercer, who was leading the conference in face-off winning percentage. Mercer was averaging a 59.1% face-off winning percentage, but the Panthers held them to 53.3%. Mercer’s leading face-off man was winning 60.4% of his face-offs, but sophomore Collin Hoben went 14 out of 23 against him to win 60.8% of his face-offs and frustrate him into a face-off violation after three false starts.
“Proud of the guys, another gritty fourth-quarter effort,” Coach Jon Torpey said after the win. “There is a lot of emotion that comes with senior day and I thought the guys handled that very well. I thought we came out focused we hit a little lull in the second but really proud of the effort.”
The Panthers started the contest quickly with back-to-back goals by Sulver and Rogers. Mercer was able to get one back on the board before Sulver scored on a missile after a beautiful pass from Hunter Vines. Mercer responded with two goals to level the score at three before the Panthers again responded. Vines gave the Panthers the lead with an unassisted goal from long range before Nolting added another unassisted goal off a beautiful spin move to close out the quarter and give the Panthers a 5-3 lead.
Mercer rallied back early at the start of the second quarter with back-to-back goals to even the score at five apiece. The senior connection of Rogers and Sulver responded to give the Panthers a one-goal lead.
Sulver found Rogers and he fired in a bullet to beat the goalie and give the Panthers the lead again. Mercer tied the game at six, but the Panthers were able to rally and add a goal before the break to give them a 7-6 lead at halftime.
Rogers scored again on an assist from Vines with 3:20 to go in the second quarter and the Panthers defense held stout the remainder of the half.
At the start of the third quarter, senior Sean Coughlin got into the scoring mix on an assist from Nolting.
After a penalty on Mercer, High Point was able to extend their lead to three on a man-up goal. Sulver fired in a bullet to beat the goalie on an assist by fellow senior Tyler Stinson. Mercer again responded with back-to-back goals, before the seniors for the Panthers continued to show their resolve. Rogers scored on a beautiful unassisted goal to push the lead to two. Mercer added a goal late at the end of the quarter and the Panthers took a 10-9 lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter completely belonged to the Panthers as they outscored Mercer 6-1 in the period. The Panthers got into the scoring action less than a minute into the quarter. After a face-off win by Hoben, Nolting scored his second goal of the game to give the Panthers a two-goal cushion. Hoben’s success at the face-off caused frustration for Mercer and after a face-off violation penalty, the Panthers were again able to capitalize on a man-up opportunity. Brayden Mayea got into the scoring action with a goal on a tremendous pass from Nolting to increase the lead from 12-9. Mercer scored one goal to bring the score to 12-10, but that would be the closest they would get for the remainder of the game. Sulver scored on a fade-away bullet of a shot into the top right corner to beat the goalie and after another face-off win from Hoben, Nolting added another goal for the Panthers for his third and final of the day. Coughlin added a second goal on an assist from Nolting and the Panthers finished up the scoring for the day with a second goal from Mayea on an assist from Vines.
The Panthers 48 shots tied a program-high for 6th all-time and the 16 goals were the 3rd most for the Panthers this season.
UP NEXT: High Point makes the long trek west to Colorado Springs as they take on Air Force Academy on Saturday, April 24th. The game will start at 1:00 pm ET and will be streamed on the Air Force Academy YouTube channel.