HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Standing up to a shooting gallery against the nation’s No. 2 scoring team, the Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team played No. 23 High Point University to a 0-0 draw Wednesday night at Vert Stadium.
High Point, which averages well over three goals per game, was stymied by VMI keeper Daniel Kitchen who logged 11 saves as the Panthers managed 35 total shots. The Keydets took just three shots on the evening, putting just one on cage.
The Panthers, who have yet to be beaten this season, collected their first non-win of the season and are now 9-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the Big Souther Conference. VMI is now 1-7-1 on the year with an 0-2-1 mark in the league.
Kitchen’s 11 saves are a career-best for the junior from Richmond. His stops also equal the most in a Big South Conference game in just over a calendar year when Taylor Feuerstein made 11 at Presbyterian College on Oct. 1, 2011.
The shutout, which earned VMI one point in Big South Conference standings, was the Keydets’ first since a nil-nil match last season at Liberty University on Oct. 18.
The Keydets managed through the first half unscathed against the nation’s second-leading scoring team, averaging over three goals a game, but Kitchen weathered a storm in goal, stopping all four Panther attempts on goal. High Point out shot VMI 11-0 in the first half, dominating the first half stats. The Panthers earned seven corner kicks, while VMI had zero.
After a very physical game in 2011, which featured over 30 fouls and double-digit cards. The first half of Wednesday’s match was nearly as chippy, with High Point called for seven fouls while the Keydets was whistled four times.
VMI would have to wait until over an hour into the game to tally its first shot as Matt Seinfeld registered his first of the game in the 64th minute, putting his attempt high. It wouldn’t be until the waning moments of regulation before the Keydets applied a shot on frame when Kyle Farmer took a rip, but Panther keeper Kody Palmer made the stop.
Once again, neither team could convert an attempt and were forced to head into overtime. Through the first 90 minutes of the game, Kitchen held High Point, which trails only University of Maryland in goals per game, scoreless, while making 11 saves, a total that would standup through two overtimes.
VMI’s defense settled in for the first of two extra time periods, allowing only three Panther shots, none of which were on goal. Two of those attempts were blocked before even reaching Kitchen. VMI surrendered two corners early in the period, but none after the 92nd minute.
The Keydets’ next game will also be in North Carolina on Saturday as VMI continues its Big South schedule, taking on Gardner-Webb University. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. at Greene-Harbison Field.