HIGH POINT, N.C. - Top-seeded High Point scored a goal in each half as the Panthers eliminated UNC Asheville 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big South Conference championships Thursday night at Panther Field.
The Bulldogs battled throughout the night and kept High Point at bay for most of the match. Asheville goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen made five saves in the match.
High Point struck first in the 18th minute. Big South Player of the Year Karo Okiomah tallied his 12th goal of the second when he scored on a header off a pass from Shane Malcolm to put the Panthers in front, 1-0.
The Bulldog defense clamped down after that goal and didn't allow High Point to score again in the opening half. Bryan Bartels just missed tying the game late in the opening half but Panther goalkeeper Michael Chesler stopped Bartels shot.
In the second half, the Panthers made it a two-goal game when Malcolm scored off a rebound. He took a shot that was saved by Hurskainen. Scott Rojo found the rebound and passed it to Malcolm who scored at 59:12 to push the lead to 2-0.
High Point had an 18-7 advantage in shots. They had nine corner kicks to two for the Bulldogs. J.J. Morrow had two shots for Asheville.
"We did a decent job of defending tonight; a service and a header were the difference makers in the game," commented Asheville coach Matt Kern. "High Point has a great team and they're a tough team to slow down."