DURHAM, N.C. — The High Point University men's lacrosse team defeated No. 2 Duke, 13-9, Feb. 6 in Durham, N.C.
This is the highest ranked team the Panthers have beaten in program history. The win tops HPU's 12-11 victory over No. 10 Virginia on Feb. 23, 2016.
"It was a collective team effort," HPU head coach Jon Torpey said. "From top to bottom, every single guy bought into the game plan. It's tough when you have a short week like that. You've got to jam a lot of information in over a short period of time, but I thought the guys did a great job of executing, listening and playing with a ton of poise out here against a team that is arguably the best team in the nation."
"All parts of the game, I don't think we had lots of weakness," Torpey said. "Our defensive midfielders played great. Our middies played with a ton of poise. Timmy Troutner, I've said this for the last four years, he's the best goalie in the country and I'm glad he finally gets that signature win."
High Point (2-0) fell behind 7-6 after an early fourth quarter goal from Duke (1-1), but the Panthers rallied to score six unanswered goals from the 13:43 mark to the 9:03 mark to take a 12-7 lead. Sophomore Koby Russell started the scoring barrage and netted the fifth of the six goals with sophomore Asher Nolting adding one, redshirt senior Chris Young adding two and junior Ben Baker hitting the sixth. Duke scored twice and Young recorded his fourth goal of the game to set the final score at 13-9.
The Panthers opened the game by taking a two-goal lead after Young and Baker scored in the first quarter. The Blue Devils tied the game at 2-2 early in the second quarter. Junior Ricky Koehler responded for HPU with his first goal of the season off an assist from senior Jake Schleppy. After two goals by Duke, junior Dalton Sulver and Nolting scored unassisted goals to give the Panthers a 5-4 lead going into the half.
Duke tied the game 5-5 with 3:43 remaining in the third. Baker scored off an assist from Nolting with 3:36 left in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils scored at the end of the quarter to tie the game at six going into the fourth.
In the net, senior Tim Troutner Jr. played the entire game and made 19 saves. This is the 20th win of his career, which puts him atop the High Point program in career wins by a goalie.
Young continued his strong start to the year with his second-straight game with four goals. He also posted one assist. Nolting added two goals and three assists, while Baker had three goals. Russell pitched in an assist with his two goals.
"We did a good job of getting the ball through 'X' [on offense]," Torpey said. "I think we did a good job of playing in the chaotic periods, and we did a good job of balancing that playing with a ton of poise. All credit goes to the guys in the locker room. I'm blessed with the best players in the country and our staff is just incredible."
Junior Davis Sampere controlled the face-off 'X' for the Panthers winning 14 of 27, with seven of the wins coming in the fourth quarter alone. Sampere also led HPU with nine ground balls.
Up next, the Panthers will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on the Dragons of Drexel. The opening face-off is set for 12 p.m.