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HPU tops No. 25 Coastal

Codrington's punt return seals win for NC Central

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Aug. 31—HIGH POINT — High Point University hadn’t been playing how it would like. It did a much better job this time.

MD Myers scored the lone goal of the match and the 24th-ranked Panthers defeated 25th-ranked Coastal Carolina 1-0 in nonconference men’s soccer Sunday evening at Vert Stadium.

“I’m so proud of the guys tonight,” said Zach Haines, a former Southwest Guilford standout in his third season as High Point’s head coach. “We knew we needed to challenge the guys to bring more and to have a response. But also to get back to some of the things that have been part of our identity the last year and a half and have allowed us to be really successful.”

In the 33rd minute, LaLas Ayertay passed to Davis Biggerstaff, who dribbled through the middle and threaded a pass ahead to Myers. Myers took the ball along the right side of the penalty area and scored just inside the left post.

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“I kind of saw the defenders not looking at me — they were focused on the ball. So, I sprinted across the field and got in behind,” said Myers, a junior forward who scored 14 goals last season.

From there, it was about the Panthers (1-1) — who lost their opener 3-1 against Davidson after going 1-1-1 in the preseason — shutting down the Chanticleers (0-1-1) defensively.

Holden Trent, a former Page standout, made five saves in goal to anchor a solid defensive effort by High Point, which finished with an 18-17 advantage in shots for the match.

“A clean sheet against a top-25 team — you’ll take it,” Haines said. “And to get a clean sheet you need a lot of great performances. … Coastal is a very tough team to play against. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical, they’re direct, and they make you defend them first balls, second balls, runs in behind.”

The win was a positive step for the Panthers as they head to Virginia on Thursday. Their next home game will be Tuesday, Sept. 7, against Cornell.

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“It’s huge, especially against a ranked opponent,” Myers said. “It could’ve been anyone out there, but to get a win — a big win — it was so important.”

mlindsay@hpenews.com — 336-888-3526 — @HPEmichael

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