(Photo Courtesy of High Point Athletics)
The High Point Panthers are the first team to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after taking down Richmond 11-8 in the SoCon Championship game. The win sends the Panthers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and denies the Spiders the chance at being the first three-peat champion in SoCon history.
A 7-1 Panthers run that saw five different goal scorers set the tone early and put them firmly in the driver’s seat with 10:23 remaining in the first half. However, the Spiders were able to gather themselves and get into a rhythm midway through the second quarter.
With 7:02 remaining in the first half Richie Connell sparked a five-goal Richmond run that lasted through the entirety of the third quarter and cut the Panther’s lead to just 7-6. During that run, the Spiders’ defense also held their own and held the Panthers scoreless for nearly 20 minutes.
High Point committed 12 of their 21 turnovers during that stretch of dominance by the Spiders. Richmond caused 10 of those turnovers during that stretch and 16 overall.
In part due to Davis Sampere’s dominance at the faceoff dot, the Panthers were able to stay ahead and tack onto their lead in the fourth quarter. Sampere went 17-for-22 (77%) overall and went 4-for-6 in the fourth quarter alone.
High Point ended the contest on a 4-2 run, which included three straight from the 9:17 to 3:49 mark in the fourth, to secure the win. Kevin Rogers had the final two goals during that run to essentially put this one away and secure the win. Ryan Lanchbury put in a garbage-time goal for Richmond with 12 seconds left to get them to 8.
Kevin Rogers the High Point offense with five points off four goals and an assist while Dalton Sulver and Asher Nolting each had two goals and an assist.
Parker Green made 12 saves in cage to anchor the High Point defense.
Richie Connell (2G/2A) and Ryan Lanchbury (2G/1A) led Richmond.