In 2008, Hampden-Sydney again had a strong year finishing 12-6-1. For the second straight year the Tigers made it to the ODAC semifinals before losing a heartbreaker to No. 1 seeded Roanoke College 2-1. The Maroons had a come from behind win scoring two goals in the second half – the game winner with under five seconds to go in the game.
Head Coach Josh Laux's squad came out running to a 5-1 start to the season. The Tigers showed how deadly their offense was with 25 total goals in their first six outings. After dropping two tough games to Greensboro and Virginia Wesleyan, the Tigers had an up-and-down stretch where they went 3-2-1 to put them at 8-5-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the ODAC.
With post season chances in question, Hampden-Sydney stepped up to win their final three games against Washington & Lee, Guilford, and Randolph-Macon College. The Randolph-Macon win was a special victory as the 6-0 finish was marked the fourth straight shut-out victory over the alma mater of Coaches Laux and Cooper.
Hampden-Sydney continued to roll winning their first round tournament game downing Washington & Lee for the second time before ultimately falling to Roanoke in the Semifinals.
The Tiger offense was paced by freshman Bryan Wharton who led the team with 14 goals. Asserting himself as an offensive power with Wharton was first-team All-ODAC junior Will Robertson as he notched eight goals as well as a team high seven assists. The defense was anchored by the entire back line that featured first-team All ODAC honoree Matt Swaney, Sam Turner, Christopher Tait and Brett Chonko.
Along with Robertson and Swaney, the Tigers had two more players named to the all conference team. Earning second team honors was senior midfielder Michael Krewinghaus. On the field, Krewinghaus was a staple starting all 19 matches. He was also an anchor of the midfield as a great creator and distributor scoring two goals and two assists. Sophomore Matt Hampton also earned honorable mention honors. Hampton dished out three assists in the midfield and often started the Tiger attack.
The accolades continued for Robertson and Swaney as they both earned First Team All-State honors. In addition, both were named to the All-Region team with Robertson earning Third Team honors and Swaney earning Honorable Mention.
The Bar Has Been Set
The soccer class of 2008 was Head Coach Josh Laux's first recruiting class, and they gave the Tiger faithful great hope for what Laux could do with the program. The group of James Bishop, Jason Butler, Ian Ciejek, Brad Cook, Michael Krewinghaus, Ben Marchetti, Craig Miller, and Jason Powell had one of the most successful four years of any Hampden-Sydney class. Over their careers, they tallied 43 total wins, had an impressive 22-11-4 conference mark, and a 32-7-4 home record.
In their first year in 2005, they helped the Tigers become the 12th most improved team in the nation. They have also had a final season top ten ranking in the South Region according to the NSCAA each year.
Four of the sweetest wins for this most recent class are the four shutout victories against arch-rival Randolph-Macon College.
The group has tallied a total of 39 goals and 50 assists, and was an integral part in the Hampden-Sydney soccer rise to excellence.