Site: Vert Stadium (High Point, N.C.)
Score: High Point 12, UNC 14
Records: High Point (4-4), UNC (6-2)
HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s lacrosse team dropped a hard-fought contest to #10 UNC on Sunday (Mar. 20) afternoon at Vert Stadium. Hunter Vines and Brayden Mayea led the way for HPU with three goals each on the day.
Coach Jon Torpey: “I look at that game and think, we were so close, little things hurt us again. Some opportunities offensively got away from us, they did some things offensively to get the ball deeper into the shot clock and caught us a couple of times. I will say this about our group, they are talented, they play hard, and they competed again for 60 minutes.”
The Panthers were on the board first after causing two Tar Heel turnovers in the opening 90 seconds of the game. Mayea’s pressure caused a UNC turnover; he then connected with Vines for an early 1-0 Panther lead.
Vines scored his second of the game two minutes later to double the Panther lead off of an Alex Albertson assist.
The Tar Heels were able to respond with two goals of their own until Vines put a stop to the UNC momentum for his third goal of the game.
Jack Sawyer put the Panthers back on top with a 4-3 lead in the final two minutes of the first quarter.
Nick Murphy regained the lead for the Panthers at 5-4 after Michael Ippolito connected with him for his fourth goal of the season.
Colin Cooke scored his first goal of the season after Tommy Meehan tied the game at six with five minutes remaining in the opening half.
The Panthers entered the halftime break tied 6-6 with the Tar Heels. Vines led the Panthers in scoring with three first-quarter goals.
UNC opened up the second half with two quick goals in the opening 90 seconds of play in the third quarter.
Asher Nolting put a stop to the Tar Heel run as he scored his first of the day to bring the score to 8-7
Sawyer tied the game up at 8 on the man-up opportunity as he was there for the put-back after a shot from Jaxson Lamb.
The Panthers kept the pressure on and took a 9-8 lead after a Ippolito goal to make it a three-goal run for HPU.
The back and forth battle continued in the third quarter as UNC responded with three goals of their own to take an 11-9 lead.
The Tar Heels kept the offensive pressure on and scored three more goals in the fourth quarter to make it a 14-9 game.
Mayea was able to put a stop to the Tar Heel run as he scored to make it a 14-10 game with 4:35 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Mayea then scored back-to-back goals in a 16-second span to bring the Panthers within two with 33 seconds remaining in the game.
Nolting finished with a goal and an assist to pass the great Mikey Powell. Nolting is now 14th all-time in college lacrosse in points with 308.
The Panthers will stay at home next weekend as they host Detroit Mercy on Saturday (Mar. 26) for the non-conference finale. The first faceoff is set for noon.