Apr. 17—HIGH POINT — As the only team to defeat USC Upstate in Big South men's soccer this season, High Point University looks for a repeat today in the league championship match.
Panthers head coach Zach Haines expects his top-seeded club will have to turn back a stiff challenge from the third-seeded Spartans to make it happen. Match time is 7 p.m. at Vert Stadium.
HPU defeated Upstate 2-1 on March 27 as all the scoring came in the second half, with the Panthers going up 2-0 before Upstate converted on a penalty kick.
"Upstate is an attack-minded team," Haines said. "They have a lot of quality among their attacking players. Everything goes through their front three. They pride themselves on the ability to break you down to be able to create good attacking moments, create chances."
HPU is 11-1 overall while Upstate sits at 6-3-2. The Panthers are among the leaders nationally in fewest goals allowed at .5 per game while scoring 2.92 per game. Upstate has given up a total of 13 goals and scored 22, nine of them in two games.
"We've got to do a great job defensively, our usual," Haines said. "Based on the first time we played them, there's goals to be had. So it will be a good one."
The Panthers finished the regular season 8-0 in the league while Upstate went 6-1-1, with the tie coming against Campbell. Both teams won their semifinal games Wednesday in nail-biters. The Panthers defeated UNC Asheville 1-0 on a golden goal 88 seconds into overtime and Upstate upended No. 2-seed Campbell on PKs after ending regulation and two overtimes tied 1-1.