Soccer in ODAC Title Game

Plyler
Senior goalie John Robert Plyler (in yellow) was one of the top goalkeepers in school history.
Davis Yake ’09, Sports Information Director

The Tigers 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.

Picked to finish first in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) preseason poll, 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.

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 Roanoke 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 senior John Robert Plyler saved the Maroons’ third and fourth shots. 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.

In their second ODAC Championship appearance in school history, the first in 1994, the Tigers lost the ODAC Championship match to Lynchburg College, but sophomore Chris Whiteside became the first Tiger player to record a goal in an ODAC Championship game.

Six Hampden-Sydney soccer players were named to the All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) team: Wharton and sophomore Nick DeProspero to the first team; and senior Matt Hampton, sophomore Curran Blackwell, and senior Sam Turner to the second team. Whiteside received an honorable mention.

Plyler finished his career as one of the top goalkeepers in school history, ranking second in saves with 288 and shutouts with 23—just one short of tying the record held by Mike Bizon ’00, an ODAC Player of the Year and First Team All-American.