High Point Headed to NCAA Tournament for First Time Since 2015

PHOTO BY TIM COWIE

Kevin Rogers scored three of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter as High Point defeated Richmond 11-8 in the Southern Conference championship game Friday.


Could High Point get another crack at Duke or North Carolina?

The Panthers became the first team to secure a spot in the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse tournament, jumping out to a big lead and holding off a late surge to defeat host Richmond 11-8 in the Southern Conference championship game Friday.

High Point led 7-1 midway through the second quarter before the Spiders mounted their comeback. They scored five unanswered goals — two in the second quarter and three in the third — to pull within one. But Kevin Rogers scored three of his game-high four goals in the fourth quarter to close out the win.

As a result, the Panthers are headed to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015, when they pushed Towson to the limit in a 10-8 first-round loss. Since then, High Point has become a perennial thorn in the side of traditional powers like Virginia (which it defeated in 2016 and 2019) and Duke (which it defeated in 2019).

Multiple sources have told US Lacrosse Magazine that Denver, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia will host a pair of first-round games — making nearby Chapel Hill a natural first-round destination for High Point as well as Duke.

Before Friday’s SoCon final, Patrick Stevens’ projected bracket had Richmond, the conference’s top seed, penciled in as the representative playing Duke in the first round.

High Point has played both Duke and North Carolina this season. The Panthers were throttled by the Blue Devils 27-8 on March 10 and by the Tar Heels 27-12 on Feb. 27. They played UNC tighter on Feb. 16, losing 17-15, and also gave Virginia fits in a 12-11 loss March 3.

Since losing to Richmond 17-10 on March 26, High Point has reeled off six straight wins. The Panthers (8-5) were fueled Friday by Davis Sampere’s 17-for-22 performance on faceoffs, goalie Parker Green’s 12 saves and Rogers’ timely scoring touch.

The NCAA tournament bracket will be unveiled Sunday on ESPNU.







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