Soccer Honors Seniors at Annual Banquet, Most Successful Postseason Class in HSC Soccer History
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA - The Hampden-Sydney soccer team held their annual banquet on Saturday to present the team awards as well as recognize four seniors for their outstanding contributions to the team in their four year careers.
First, the senior class as a whole was recognized. This year's senior class won 47 overall games, including 24 in conference, while finishing top four in the ODAC in three of their four years including second place finishes in 2007 and 2009. This year's senior class is the most successful postseason class in H-SC Soccer history, advancing to the semi-finals in 2007, 2008, and 2009, as well as making it to the ODAC Championship match in 2010 for just the second time in school history. In addition, the senior class is the only current graduating class in the entire ODAC to win at least one playoff game in each of its four years. The 2010 seniors have never lost or surrendered a goal to arch rival Randolph-Macon, and were a major part of the most successful team in HSC history in 2009, when the team set the school record for wins (16), ODAC wins (8), goals against (12), shutouts (11), and was ranked 15thin the nation in goals against average (0.59).
The next part of the program was the presentation of awards. The first award presented was the Robbie O'Cain 12th Man Award, presented annually to a player who comes off the bench that provides valuable contributions as well as raising the energy level of the team. The 2010 recipient was Andrew Berg (Aberdeen, Scotland/International School of Aberdeen). The Hustle Award is voted on by the players, and this year Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) was the overwhelming winner. The Performance Points Champion Award went to Kevin Anderson (Midlothian, VA/Cosby). Chris Whiteside (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) was awarded as the Coaches' Choice MVP while Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) and Matt Hampton (Virginia Beach, VA/Floyd E. Kellam) were tabbed as the Players' Choice Co-MVP. Curran Blackwell (Wilson, NC/Greenfield) rounded out the awards as the Coaches Choice Player of the Spring.
Finishing out the banquet was individual recognition for each senior: Berg, Hampton, John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park), and Sam Turner (Richmond, VA/Benedictine). Berg, the 2010 Robbie O'Cain Award winner, scored one of the most important goals in school history with the game-winner against Washington & Lee in the 2010 ODAC Semi-Finals. A major contributor in games, Berg also provided quality leadership for the younger players and consistently raised the bar of performance in practice and in the weight room on a daily basis.
Hampton started every single game once inserted into the starting lineup his freshman year, only missing one game due to injury vs. Roanoke in the 2010 ODAC Quarterfinals. A decorated player, he was ODAC All-Tournament and H-SC Performance Points Champion in 2007, Honorable Mention All-ODAC and Coaches' Choice MVP in 2008, and in 2010 he was a team captain, Second-Team All-ODAC, and Players' Choice Co-MVP. Hampton will go down as one of, if the not the best, defensive center midfielders in program history.
Plyler emerged as a starter shortly into his freshman year and has consistently been one of the top goalkeepers in the ODAC and the region throughout his career. In 2007, he was named the State and ODAC Rookie of the Year and was the Players' Choice MVP in 2008. As a junior, he was Second-Team All-ODAC and was named to the ODAC All-Tournament team, and in 2010 he was once again named to the ODAC All-Tournament team. He also ranks second in school history for single season shutouts (9), shutouts (23), and saves (288). Plyler was substituted in seven games throughout his career because the games were clearly in hand and shutouts were preserved but was not awarded a shutout due to having not played in every single minute of the match.
Turner finished his career as one of the top defenders within the region. He is known for his toughness, ability to win tackles, and dominance in the air. In 2007 he was an All-ODAC and All-State Performer and was also tabbed All-ODAC in 2010. Turner has been a major piece on a defense that consistently ranked as one of the best in the ODAC, including a 2009 team ranked 15th nationally in goals against average that allowed just 12 goals. His consistency and intelligence have been significant factors in preserving numerous wins and shutouts.