Site: Robins Stadium | Richmond, Va.
Score: High Point 11, Jacksonville 9
Records: High Point (7-5), Jacksonville (7-8)
Next HPU Event: SoCon Championship, Friday, May 7th vs Richmond (Richmond, Va, noon)
The High Point University men’s lacrosse team pushed past Jacksonville 11-9 on Wednesday(May 5th)night in the SoCon semifinal to earn a spot in the SoCon Championship game. Kevin Rogers and Brayden Mayea finished with three goals each helping the Panthers to victory. With the semifinal win, the Panthers are headed to the SoCon championship on Friday at noon where they will face number one seeded Richmond. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+
“Hard-fought game, every game at this point of the season is going to be a battle,” Coach Jon Torpey said after the SoCon Semifinal win over Jacksonville. “Hats off to Jacksonville and their staff, those guys did a tremendous job, it was a tale of three quarters in our favor and one in theirs. I think they did an excellent job in the fourth quarter, but I thought our guys did a tremendous job of just buckling down, our defensive middies all day were just outstanding in the clear, they were outstanding in six on six defense. Parker Green when we needed him stepped up big.”
Jacksonville started the game by getting on the board first with a goal. The Panthers answered with a massive run. After the opening Dolphin goal to start the game HPU went on to score 10 straight goals over three quarters. It all started with Rogers who scored the first goal of the game 50 seconds after the Dolphins struck first. Rogers tied it at one early in the first. With 10:52 to play in the first Asher Nolting scored to put HPU up 2-1. With his early goal, Nolting tied the legendary Gary Gait for career collegiate points with 253.
A little over three minutes later the Panthers added to their lead as Hunter Vines found the back of the net on the run to give HPU a two-goal lead. With 6:03 to play in the first, the All-SoCon freshman team selection Mayea got on the board for High Point. Nolting was able to fake and create enough space at X to find Mayea in the front of the goal as he was able to finish. With that assist, Nolting passed Gait for career points with 254. Nolting ended the night with four points moving his career total to 256. High Point made sure to finish the first half strongly as Rogers fired a rocket of a shot from near the restraining line to give his Panthers a 5-1 advantage heading into the second.
A Vines goal gave a 6-1 lead to High Point with 12:49 to play in the second quarter for his second of the night. Rogers found his third of the night with 8:03 left in the second quarter. Rogers’s goal was set up by a highlight sequence as he spun between two Jacksonville defenders and was able to score to put HPU up 7-1. While offense ruled the headlines during this ten-goal run tremendous defensive plays occurred to keep the Dolphins at one. PJ Peters had one of the plays of the game with 6:02 left to play in the second, as he lunged in front of the empty Panther net as Green was moved out of position after chasing down a ground ball, and Peters made a save to keep the Panther run rolling as he knocked a Dolphin shot away. The second quarter ended on a high note for the Panthers as Jack Vanoverbeke scored to put the Purple & White up by seven as the Panthers finished the first half scoring eight straight. HPU took an 8-1 lead into halftime.
Mayea scored the first two High Point goals in the third to put the Panthers up by nine. Jacksonville’s scoring drought ended with 6:07 left in the third quarter. High Point’s incredible opening run ended at ten as the Panthers went on a 10-1 run in the first three-quarters of play. With 50 seconds to go in the third quarter, Sean Coughlin scored what would be the last goal of the night for HPU. Coughlin’s goal came a man up and put the Panthers up 11-4 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins went on a five-goal run in the fourth to make it a two-goal game with five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Green and the defense held Jacksonville scoreless for the last five minutes of the game to secure the victory. Green made two huge plays down the stretch in the last five minutes to protect the lead for HPU. With 2:09 to play Green saved a shot that was a quality scoring opportunity for JU to keep the lead at two for High Point. With 33 seconds left Green chased down a shot that went behind the cage and dove out of bounds with a Jacksonville player right beside him. Green was the closest and won possession for the Panthers. High Point went on to close out the game and win 11-9.
UP NEXT: With the semifinal win over Jacksonville, the Panthers advance to the SoCon Championship to face Richmond at noon on Friday, May 7th. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.