Site: High Point, NC (Vert Stadium)
Score: High Point 1, Winthrop 0
Records: High Point 6-6-2 (4-0-2), Winthrop 6-7 (3-3)
HIGH POINT, NC – In a match that provided a little bit of everything, the Panthers defeated Winthrop on Senior Night 1-0 to remain undefeated in Big South Conference play.
Senior Mason Marcey provided the lone goal in the 15th minute of game action on a strike from the top of the box.
A down a man after MD Myers was sent off on a controversial straight red card. However, the Panthers played resilient defense down the stretch and shut out Winthrop to give HPU their fourth conference win of the season.
Zach Haines: “We were unbelievable in the first half it was easily the best half we have had this season. We were coming into the second half with a tons of momentum and felling good. The only thing that did not go for us in the first is that we did not put away a few more chances. It was still 1-0 at the break, feeling like were dominating at every facet of the game. In the second half, a few things turned against us and we had to be extremely tough and resilient. We kept a clean shot and took the result for a very important one for us. Tonight showed a lot for what these guys are about.”
The Panthers started as the aggressor early in the contest and kept early pressure in the attacking half. Another senior Alessandro Sobacchi lofted a high deep shot with his left foot that looked like it may fall in behind the goalie, but the keeper was able to get back and make the save. The Panthers continued to press Winthrop and were nearly rewarded in the 13th minute. Senior defender Nick Phipps lofted a ball into the box from the right side and Ashton Perkins drilled a shot on goal that the keeper reacted to just in the nick of time to deny the Panthers. However, the Panthers would not be stopped two minutes later. Alex Abril crossed a ball in the box that deflected from a Winthrop defender and found its way to the feet of Marcey on the top right of the box.
Marcey shot a rocket into the top left corner of the goal with his right foot that the goalie had no chance to stop.
The goal was Marcey’s second of the season and gave the Panthers the early lead that they were seeking. The Panthers finished the first half outshooting the Eagles 12-3.
The second half started slower for both teams with the defense ticking up a notch for both sides. However, the drama began in the 62nd minute of play. There looked to be a collision between Myers and a Winthrop player. However, no call initially was made by the head referee. The game was stopped and after they had to play the remaining 28 minutes down a man. The Eagles were then able to turn up the pressure and keeper Holden Trent made a save on a Winthrop shot in the 69th minute to protect the Panther lead.
The Panther defense continued to strengthen and they kept turning away Winthrop crosses and passes into and near the box. Winthrop had another chance on goal in the 85th minute of play, but Trent was again there for the save to protect the lead. The last chance for the Eagles came in the final minute of play after a throw-in. The Eagles had a deflection in the box and put the ball in the net, however were ruled to be offside on the play. Trent sent the goal kick down the left side and the Panthers ran out the final thirty seconds to earn their sixth victory of the season dramatically on Senior Night.
Ground the Eagles Again
The Panthers outshot Winthrop 14-6 for the game and had 6 corner kicks compared to 3 for the Eagles. The Panthers have not lost against Winthrop since 2013 and extended their winning streak against them to 6 consecutive matches. Zach Haines has improved his record to 19-1-2 in his career at HPU during Big South regular-season contests.
The Panthers will take on Campbell on Wednesday, October 30th at home in the final regular-season contest in Vert Stadium at 7:00pm.