Hampden-Sydney Hands Lynchburg First ODAC Loss
LYNCHBURG, VA - Hampden-Sydney Soccer did what no other ODAC team has been able to do - score multiple goals against Lynchburg College and win - as the Tigers handed the Hornets their first ODAC loss this season, 3-0.
Lynchburg, one of the stingiest defenses in the nation, came in to the game having pitched five straight shutouts and had given up just one goal in six ODAC matches. Despite the odds against the Tigers keeping the offense rolling, the Tigers were not intimidated by the stout defense as they delivered the shocking result on Wednesday night.
Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) nearly put the Tigers up 1-0 just 35 seconds in, but LC goalkeeper Michael Releford turned back the shot. At the 15:50 mark, Michael Venegas came within inches of giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead, but his shot went off the post. The Hornets got off a few shots in the half - only two were on goal - but registered a commanding nine corner kicks.
DeProspero opened the second half aggressive just like the first, firing off a shot on goal 1:03 into the stanza only to have the shot rejected by Releford again. DeProspero was not discouraged and scored the Tigers first goal of the contest in the 49th minute, finishing off a Robert Stephens (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette) pass. Stephens continued his recent assault on the net, pocketing his fourth goal in the last two games in the 55th minute, courtesy of a Jackson Parker (Raleigh, NC/Sanderson) assist, to put Hampden-Sydney up 2-0.
Lynchburg was able to keep the Tigers in check over the next 33 minutes, limiting H-SC to only four shots while the Hornets earned five corner kicks to put themselves in position to score. Hampden-Sydney would have none of that and put a stamp on the statement victory with a third goal, this time coming off the feet of Stephens at 87:48.
Stephens finished the game with two goals and one assist, giving him five goals in the past two games. Stephens is also just the second player all season to score multiple goals against Lynchburg, a feat only matched by Ben Beaver of Franklin & Marshall who also scored twice on LC. Blake Carrey (North Chesterfield, VA/Deep Run) earned the shutout win as he recorded four saves, and Releford made five stops for Lynchburg.
While Lynchburg had a huge 14-1 advantage in corner kicks, Lynchburg wasn't ever able to do much with such valuable set pieces as the Tigers outshot the Hornets 8-4 in shots on goal.
The Tigers look to continue their hot streak on Saturday when they host Bridgewater College at 3 pm during Homecoming Weekend. Immediately following the contest, the Tigers will recognize the contributions of its four senior members: DeProspero, Curran Blackwell (Wilson, NC/Greenfield), Andre Graham (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian), and Chris Whiteside (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox).