Record-Breaking Tigers Advance to ODAC Semifinals
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. --- The Hampden-Sydney soccer team knocked off the Generals of Washington & Lee University today by a score of 3-0 to advance to the ODAC semifinals. With the win, the Tigers' record improves to 16-3-0, which is the most wins ever for a Hampden-Sydney soccer team. It was also the Tigers' remarkable 11th shutout of the season which also sets a new school record.
Playing on a muddy Miller Field, the Tigers had a tough time getting scoring looks early on and did not pose many serious threats in the opening 30 minutes. Washington & Lee, to their credit, were able to get a few looks at the net, and outshot the Tigers in the first half by a margin of 7 to 3. Hampden-Sydney, however, made their scoring opportunities count as they got on the board in the 41st minute. On the play, senior JoJo Howard sent a ball into the penalty box from the right side. The ball bounced off the feet of several players before bouncing to junior Matt Swaney, who buried the ball in the net to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Hampden-Sydney came out in the second half hungry for more, and it didn't take long for the home side to capitalize again. In the 52nd minute, a Tiger corner kick into the box ricocheted off of several players and was knocked out to sophomore Bryan Hughes, who placed a perfect header from about 15 yards out into the upper right corner of the net to increase Hampden-Sydney's lead to 2-0. Looking to shut the door on the Generals, it was Hughes who struck again in the 57th minute on a beautiful combination. Tigers keeper John Robert Plyler sent a goal kick to just past midfield, where junior Matt Hampton outjumped a defender to flick it nicely to freshman Chris Whiteside. Whiteside then played a perfect throughball to a streaking Hughes, who lifted a lob over the charging keeper for the final tally of the day and the 3-0 win.
Several Hampden-Sydney players turned in outstanding efforts, including Hampton, Hughes, and Plyler, who had five saves, including an extraordinary effort on a barrage of W&L shots from point blank range in the closing minutes of the game. The shutout was Plyler's ninth of the season, which moved him into sole possession of second place for single-season shutouts in the Hampden-Sydney record book.
The Tigers' next match will be an ODAC semifinal matchup against the winner of the quarterfinal match between Lynchburg College and Randolph College. Hampden-Sydney will host the game on Wednesday, November 4, with a tentative kickoff time of 3 pm.
This release is courtesy of the Hampden-Sydney sports information department.