(August 31, 2008) HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA – The Tigers built upon their strong season opener by outlasting Shenandoah University for a 2-1 victory. The match was the final of the third annual Arby's/Hampden-Sydney Soccer Classic. The Hornets - coming off of a tough 9-1 loss to Lynchburg the day before - came out fired up and hung tough with the Tigers keeping the game scoreless at the half. The second half, however, was a different story.
The Tigers came out ready to play in the second half as Will Robertson (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Catholic) hit JoJo Howard (Lanexa, VA/New Kent) on the break who knocked in the Tigers' first goal of the day in first minute of play. It did not take the Tigers too much longer to find the net again, as they scored a little over 20 minutes later on a brilliant move by sophomore forward Andrew Berg (Aberdeen, Scotland/International School of Aberdeen). The play started as junior defender Brett Chonko (Farmville, VA/Prince Edward) hit Berg in box, and Berg brilliantly knocked the ball back between his legs and right past the keeper.
Though the Hornets were down 2-0, they continued to play hard and tried to sting the Tigers with a goal from midfielder Karim Kamara in the 72nd minute. With the lead cut to one, the Tigers held off Shenandoah - helped by the all around great play of sophomore midfielder Matt Hampton (Virginia Beach, VA/Kellam) - but ran into trouble in the final minute. As Shenandoah continued to attack, they were given a corner kick with under a minute to play. The ball was struck well by defender Kevin Schaeffer, but fortunately for the Tigers it was sophomore goalkeeper John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) who rose above the crowd, grabbed the ball out of harm's way, and sealed the victory for Hampden-Sydney.
Before the Tigers took the field, Lynchburg was able to pull off back to back victories as they beat the Mountain State Cougars 5-0. Josh Reed was again the high scorer for his team as he netted two goals and had one assist on the day.
Hampden-Sydney placed four players on the All-Tournament team with Robertson, Hampton, Howard, and freshman defender Chris Hruneni (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian). Reed received the tournament MVP for his four goals on the weekend. He was joined by fellow Lynchburg teammates Cameron Smith, Daniel Arriola, Robert Lee Green, and Hunter Smith. Rounding out the All-Tournament team was Micah Miller and Ryan Grantham from Shenandoah, and Ali Katrib from Mountain State.
With the win, Hampden-Sydney improves to 2-0-0, and will return to action on Saturday, September, 6 at Miller Field as they take the field against the Shoremen of Washington College at 12 pm in the first game of the Arby's Tiger Invitational. The game will be followed at 2:30 by Ferrum and Eastern Mennonite.