Site: Buies Creek, NC (Eakes)
Score: High Point 2, Campbell 3
Records: High Point 8-7-3 (5-0-3), Campbell 15-3-2 (7-0-1)
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – The High Point University men’s soccer team fell to Campbell in the Big South Championship game 3-2 on Sunday, November 14th. MD Myers and Alessandro Sobacchi scored for HPU in the first half. Both Myers’ and Sobacchi’s goals evened the game at the time.
Zach Haines:” Congratulations to Campbell, they were the best team in the Big South this year and deserved it for sure. We had an unbelievable second half and a not very good first half. I’m proud of the way we responded. I am proud of what we did in the second half, the way we played. But, the first half was not good enough to win a final against a really good team. We were just a little too passive. We did not quite bring our best on both sides of the ball and that was the difference, they took advantage of those opportunities and that ended up being the difference in the game. But, the second half was what I would have hoped for, for ninety minutes we had tons and tons of opportunities to take the game back.”
Campbell struck first, scoring in the first six minutes of the game. The Fighting Camels went up 1-0.
About seven minutes later, HPU answered off a set-piece. Mason Marcey sent a ball into the box that Myers was able to get a head on. Myers sent the ball rocketing into the net from just inside the top of the box. Myers went sprinting to the Panther bench to celebrate the equalizer.
In the 25th minute, Holden Trent collapsed on a ball surging its way to the net eliminating an opportunity for the Camels to take the lead.
Campbell would go up 2-1 in the 35th minute. HPU wasted little time in crafting a response as Sobacchi provided yet another Panther equalizer in the 38th minute. Sobacchi’s goal came off of a corner from Marcey. Marcey’s ball slipped through a crowd of Camels and Panthers found the foot of Sebastian Chalbaud who shot it and as the ball bounced off of the Campbell keeper Sobacchi was there to bury it on the open upper, right side of the net. Sobacchi headed back towards the bench to celebrate the equalizer.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Campbell found their third goal of the day to take a 3-2 lead into the break stealing the momentum heading into halftime.
In the 48th minute, Campbell sent in a hard shot from well beyond the box that was headed straight for the back of the net, Trent made a diving save to keep the Campbell lead at only one.
The Panthers had several chances in the second half that nearly leveled the game for the third time on the day.
In the 77th minute, Josh Dubost shot a ball that was inches from finding the back of the net. Ashton Perkins showed off the arm as his throw was nearly as good as a ball sent in off a corner, Perkins’ throw bounced off the keeper’s hand, Dubost got a foot on it and just missed as his shot crashed off the woodwork.
In the last two minutes of the game, HPU did everything it could to try to find their third goal of the day. The Panthers shot three times in the last two minutes of the Championship contest. Chalbaud provided a great chance for HPU in the 89th minute as Cooper Lindfelt crossed a ball into the box that seemed to perfectly find the head of Chalbaud. Chalbaud headed a ball to the corner, Campbell’s keeper Edu Rodriguez was forced to make a diving save to keep HPU from finding a third goal.
Campbell held on to win 3-2. The day ended with both teams shooting an almost even amount of shots as Campbell had 14 and HPU recorded 12.
Panthers Alessandro Sobacchi, Mason Marcey, and MD Myers earned Big South All-Tournament honors.
The result concludes the third season of the Haines era. HPU has appeared in the Big South Final each season of Haines’ tenure as HPU head coach.
Big South All-Tournament Team
George Bediko, Campbell (MVP)
Kemy Amiche, Campbell
Bissafi Dotte, Campbell
Daniel Hernandez, Campbell
Alessandro Sobacchi, High Point
Mason Marcey, High Point
MD Myers, High Point
William Cardona, Winthrop
Ethan Stevenson, Winthrop
Sebastian Reventlow, Gardner-Webb
Ryan Madondo, Gardner-Webb
Ander Etxaniz, Longwood
Cesar Sancho, Presbyterian College