HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA - The Randolph WildCats took down the Hampden-Sydney Tigers 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opener for the Tigers despite H-SC having a significant advantage in shots. Randolph moves to 3-5 overall, 1-1 in the ODAC while H-SC goes to 2-4 overall, 0-1 in the ODAC.
The Tigers held an overwhelming advantage in shots (20-5) and corner kicks (9-5) and dominated time of possession in the second-half, but Randolph converted on the few chances they did have to score with two impressive shots. In the 10th minute, Trey Gaylor fired in a rocket from the top of the box that John Robert Plyler (Charlotte, NC/Myers Park) was barely able to tip, but unfortunately for the Tigers, the tip didn't keep the ball out of the net. In the 25th minute, Jacob Lusczek took a corner kick from the left corner and curved the ball into the far end of the net and out of reach of the goalkeeper.
Hampden-Sydney came out after the half fired up and commanded the ball for the vast majority of the second stanza. H-SC outshot RC 13-2 after intermission and held a 5-1 edge in corners. Hampden-Sydney displayed good ball movement and created several strong scoring opportunities with one shot hitting off the post and two just barely going too high or too wide of the net. A Randolph foul in the box proved to be a momentum shifter as Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) was awarded a penalty kick goal, and the goalie dove to the wrong side as Wharton made it a 2-1 contest at the 60:25 mark.
A crucial sequence occurred shortly afterwards as Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) ran down a pass down the left side of the field near the box as Randolph keeper Aaron Humphreys came running out to contest. DeProspero won the battle to leave an open net, but he was forced to pass backwards and a pass into the box led to an Adam Nelson (Chesterfield, VA/Cosby) shot that was only stopped due to the heady play of a WildCat defender in the 67th minute.
The Tigers continued to push the ball into the offensive zone and reeled off four more shots while holding Randolph to none the remainder of the game, but the Tigers were not able to capitalize. Nelson and DeProspero combined for 10 shots and four on goal while defender Curran Blackwell (Wilson, NC/Greenfield) and Wharton each registered three shots apiece. Corey Sindle, who was tied with Wharton for the most goals in the ODAC heading into the game, was only able to register one shot, which Plyler rejected. Humphreys recorded four saves in the net for Randolph while Plyler posted two.
Hampden-Sydney begins a crucial four-game road stretch this Wednesday as they take to the road to battle Lynchburg College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.