(September 1, 2009)DANVILLE, VA – The Hampden-Sydney soccer team started off their 2009 campaign in victorious fashion, scoring a 2-0 victory over the Averett University Cougars. After a scoreless first half, the Tigers were able to assert control over the match in the second half and secure the win.
In the opening minutes of the match, the Tigers came out aggressive with several scoring opportunities. Senior Will Robertson (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Catholic) created several chances early but was unable to find the back of the net. Sophomore Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) had an opportunity in the 9th minute off of a pass from Robertson but it was deflected wide. Averett responded with a scoring opportunity of their own in the 15th minute when a long cross found the head of an Averett player, but his attempt flew over the goal.
The Tigers responded with heightened intensity, controlling the midfield and applying pressure on the Averett defense. Freshman Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) had a shot go just left of the goal, and junior Matt Hampton (Virginia Beach, VA/Kellam) ripped a shot just wide right in the 35th minute. The Tiger back line held strong throughout the half, limiting the Cougars' opportunities.
The second half picked up right where the first half left off, with the Tiger attack remaining on the offensive. The midfield did an excellent job of keeping possessions and winning balls. The inspired play of sophomores Kevin Anderson (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) and Gregorio Pacheco (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) set the tone for the rest of the half. It didn't take long for their energy to result in more scoring opportunities.
In the 60th minute, DeProspero played a beautiful pass to sophomore Bryan Hughes (Midlothian, VA/Cosby), who was able to outrace the defender, touch it around the goalkeeper and bury it in the back of the net with a left-footed strike. Five minutes later, freshman Brandon Haynes (Raleigh, NC/Broughton) beat the Cougar back line and buried the Tigers' second goal of the day.
The Cougars tried to retaliate, but the stingy Tiger defense gave them no room. Senior Brett Chonko (Farmville, VA/Prince Edward), senior Christopher Tait (Nokesville, VA/Brentsville), and juniors Matt Swaney (Potomac Falls, VA/Potomac Falls) and Sam Turner (Richmond, VA/Benedictine) suffocated the Cougar attack, ensuring the shutout.
With the win the Tigers record now stands at 1-0.
Hampden-Sydney will open their home schedule on Saturday, September 5th as they take on Shenandoah University in the opening game of the Hampden-Sydney Soccer Classic.