TIGERS CRUISE PAST GUILFORD 3-0
(October 17, 2009) HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA – The Hampden-Sydney soccer team knocked off the Quakers of Guilford College today by a 3-0 score in a homecoming matchup at Miller Field, pushing the Tigers' winning streak to an amazing nine consecutive games. With the win, the Tigers improved to 13-2-0 overall and 6-1-0 in the ODAC, while Guilford fell to 7-9-1 overall and 2-5-0 in ODAC play.
Contrary to the dramatic finishes that the Tigers have been accustomed to lately, this match was never in doubt as Hampden-Sydney got on the scoreboard in the fifth minute of play, when freshman Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) sent a corner kick into the box that ended up ricocheting high into the air. Senior Brett Chonko (Farmville, VA/Prince Edward) was able to bring the ball down and slide a pass to freshman Chris Whiteside (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox), who gathered the ball, turned and fired a shot past the diving keeper for the first goal of his college career.
The home side continued to attack and look for scoring chances, and was able to score again in the 19th minute. This time, DeProspero sent a corner kick into the box where freshman Curran Blackwell (Wilson, NC/Greenfield) soared over the defense and banged a header into the corner of the net to give the Tigers a two-goal lead. Still hungry, Hampden-Sydney kept on the offensive, and it paid off again in the 32nd minute. On the play, Chonko carried the ball into the right side of the box, drawing a defender to himself, then slid a nice pass to sophomore Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) who rifled in a shot for his team-leading tenth goal of the season.
The Tigers continued to play aggressive team ball in the second half, but didn't find the net again. Their best opportunity was in the 78th minute when sophomore Bryan Hughes (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) unleashed a shot that hit the crossbar. Any further score would not have been necessary, however, as the Hampden-Sydney defense clamped down on Guilford's attack like they have in so many games already this season. Making his first start of the season, sophomore Collin Owens (Greensboro, NC/Northwest Guilford), played very solidly, not letting anything get past him and distributing the ball to the midfield nicely. The back line's impressive play gave them their ninth shutout of the season, which equals the second most single-season shutouts in Hampden-Sydney history.
The Tigers' 13 wins are tied for the fifth most in Hampden-Sydney history, and are the most single-season wins in Head Coach Josh Laux's career at Hampden-Sydney. Additionally, junior goalkeeper John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park), in pitching his seventh shutout of the season, moved into a tie for third in single-season history.
Hampden-Sydney's next game is a pivotal matchup with ODAC foe Lynchburg College on Wednesday, October 21st. Kickoff is set for 4 pm on Miller Field as the Tigers will play for their tenth consecutive win.