2010 Season Review
Tigers Reach ODAC Title Game as #7 Seed
The 2010 Hampden-Sydney Soccer season was a year of ups and downs, but in the end the Tigers lived up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon them in the preseason. H-SC proved to be the Cinderella team in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament, reaching just their second ODAC Title game as the #7 seed before falling to Lynchburg College
The Tigers were picked to finish first in the ODAC preseason poll, but the Tigers sported a 4-8-1 record through mid October. Despite the rocky start to the year, the Tigers showed a tremendous amount of heart and closed out the regular season with a 3-0-1 record to earn the #7 seed going in to the tournament.
Having to face an uphill battle from the beginning of the tournament, the Tigers proved to be up for the challenge and tough road through to the title game. Hampden-Sydney concluded the regular season with a double overtime 0-0 draw and faced them again just four days later in the quarterfinals. The rematch proved to be an instant classic as each team battled to a scoreless tie yet again. Needing to determine who advances to the semi-finals, it became anybody's ball game as the game headed to what always proves to be thrilling in a shootout. Facing an early 2-0 deficit, the Tigers made their second, third, and fourth penalty kick attempts while John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park)saved the Maroons third and fourth shots. Up 3-2 going into the fifth final attempt for each team, RC's Brook Allison sent his shot wide left to preserve the Tigers third straight trip to the ODAC Semi-Finals as H-SC secured the first-round upset.
The Tigers were next matched up with sixth seeded Washington & Lee, who also upset #3 seed Virginia Wesleyan in the quarterfinals. After going down 1-0 in the 57th minute, Hampden-Sydney quickly responded with a Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) goal in the 59th minute and Andrew Berg (Aberdeen, Scotland/International School of Aberdeen) posted the game-winner in the 86th minute. The win sent the Tigers to the ODAC Championship match, just their second ODAC Championship appearance in school history with the first coming in 1994. The ODAC Championship match unfortunately went 5-1 to Lynchburg College, but sophomore Chris Whiteside (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) earned the distinction of being the first H-SC player to record a goal in the ODAC Championship.
Six Hampden-Sydney soccer players were named to the All-ODAC team. Two were named first team, three to the second team, and one honorable mention.
Wharton and Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) made it on the first team. Wharton posted 12 goals, four assists, and 28 points on the season. The 12 goals and 28 points led the conference while the four assists checks in at ninth. This was Wharton's third consecutive season with 10+ goals as he had 14 in his first two seasons. DeProspero continued to impress with his playmaking abilities as he led the ODAC in assists with nine and along with his three goals, he placed seventh in the conference in points with 15.
Earning second team honors was Matt Hampton (Virginia Beach, VA/Floyd E. Kellam),Curran Blackwell (Wilson, NC/Greenfield), and Sam Turner (Richmond, VA/Benedictine). Hampton, a midfielder, posted a goal and two assists for four points and was also one of the top defensive midfielders on the team. Blackwell and Turner anchored the backline that posted a 1.40 goals against average along with seven shutouts. Blackwell also was third on the team in goals with five and fourth in points with 11.
Whiteside was tabbed to the honorable mention squad. Whiteside scored six times and assisted on two other goals for 14 points. He was first on the team in game-winning goal with three, second on the team in goals, and third in points. He was third in the ODAC in game winning goals, eighth in goals, and 10th in points.
Also of note is that Plyler finished his career as one of the top goalkeepers in school history. He ranks second in school history in saves with 288 and shutouts with 23. He was just one shutout short of tying the record held by Mike Bizon '00, who was an ODAC Player of the Year and First Team All-American.