(August 30, 2008) HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA – The season looks bright for the Tigers, who had a strong showing today in their 4-0 season-opening victory against the Cougars of Mountain State University. The match-up was the first of two games today in the Arby's/Hampden-Sydney Soccer Classic.
.The Tigers wasted no time in sending an early message to opponent Mountain State as junior forward Will Robertson (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Catholic) found the net on a beautiful assist from freshman midfielder Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) in the sixth minute of play. Once the Tigers took the early lead, they never looked back as freshman forward Gregorio Pacheco (Montclair NJ/Montclair) scored the second goal of the game, and the first of his collegiate career, off of a feed from sophomore forward Andrew Berg (Aberdeen, Scotland/International School of Aberdeen).
The second half of play resumed and looked strikingly like the beginning of the first half as Robertson craftily found the net for his second goal of the day in the 49th minute of play. Before the match was over, one more Tiger got in the goal column as Wharton blasted a shot past goalkeeper Michel Hiza from outside of the box off of a feed from senior forward Ian Ciejek (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin).
Mountain State never really got a chance to get in an offensive flow as the stingy, physical Tiger defense, led by junior Christopher Tait (Nokesville, VA/Brentsville) and sophomore Matt Swaney (Potomac Falls, VA/Potomac Falls), limited the Cougars to only eight shots on the day. Of those eight shots, sophomore goalkeeper John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) stopped all four shots on goal earning him his fifth career shutout.
Hampden-Sydney played well at all positions and showed both their depth and youth with key performances from freshmen reserves Pacheco and defender Chris Hruneni (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian).
The Tigers showed their aggressive play all over the field - including a fiesty performance from senior midfielder Michael Krewinghaus (Yorktown, VA/Tabb) - by hoisting 20 shots to Mountain State's eight.
In the second game of the day, Lynchburg won the battle of the Hornets as they eased past Shenandoah 9-1.
Seniors Josh Reed and Daniel Arriola were the top scorers for Lynchburg with two goals a piece. Lynchburg got in a rhythm early connecting on their first goal in the 11th minute of the game. Shenandoah never got going as Lynchburg controlled the ball for most of the game and shared it well as they seven of their nine goals were assisted.
All four teams will be in action again on Sunday, as Mountain State will take on Lynchbug at 12pm followed by Hampden-Sydney facing off with Shenandoah at 2:30.