HIGH POINT, N.C. - Despite a 35-3 edge in shots the No. 23-ranked High Point University men's soccer team played VMI to a 0-0 tie on Wednesday night at Vert Stadium. Redshirt-freshman Kody Palmer picked up his fourth-straight shutout and his seventh of the season in the draw.
"We are extremely disappointed we were unable to find a goal in the match tonight," head coach Dustin Fonder said. "Credit goes to VMI who came in with a good plan which they stuck to. They got a lot of numbers behind the ball and got a couple good bounces. We just have train harder, get better and make sure we are focused on our next game."
High Point dominated the run of play, but was unable to breakdown a compact VMI defense in the offensive third. The Panthers finished the game with a season-high 35 shots including 11 on frame. HPU also finished with a 19-1 edge in corner kicks. Sophomore Mamadee Nyepon led High Point on the night with 10 shots and four on goal.
High Point took control of the game 10 minutes into play as the team began to break down an organized VMI defense. Senior Shawn Sloan hit a shot from the edge of the box that ran just wide of the left post and Nyepon had a header off a corner kick that forced a diving save by VMI's Daniel Kitchen.
The Panthers held VMI without a shot until the 64th minute while continuing to pepper the Keydet goal. HPU forced seven saves in the second half while also earning nine corner kicks. With a condensed VMI defense in the box, HPU used shots from the edge of the box to test Kitchen.
High Point continued to push the game in extra time against a bunkered in VMI. The team had six shots in the two periods of extra time with two going just over the crossbar off the head of junior Adam Sewell.
Palmer made one save in the game, stopping a header shot that came off a VMI counter. The shot on goal by the Keydets was the first allowed by High Point in three games. Palmer is now second in the HPU Div. I single-season record books with seven clean sheets in the season.
High Point returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 6, when the team hits the road to face conference-foe Winthrop at 7 p.m., in Rock Hill, S.C. The Panthers will look to remain perfect away from Vert Stadium following wins at Elon and Navy. High Point is 4-14-1 all-time against the Eagles, but is coming off a 6-0 win over Winthrop at home last season.
HPU/ WFMY News 2 Sports