EMORY, VA - The Hampden-Sydney soccer team earned a must-win three points on Saturday night as the Tigers defeated Emory & Henry 1-0 on the road. The win puts H-SC in a three-way tie with Bridgewater and Eastern Mennonite for seventh in the ODAC, and the top eight teams advance to the ODAC Tournament.
The first half saw next to nothing on offense as both squads combined for only five shots, but each team was very accurate with their shots as all five were on goal. Hampden-Sydney caught a big break in the 13th minute when a Wasps shot was out of reach of goalkeeper Blake Carrey (North Chesterfield, VA/Deep Run), but a Tiger defender was in the right place at the right time to block the ball from going in to earn the team save. Leo Kowalski (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) saw his shot saved at 27:17. E&H's Tory Schneider was denied a goal by Carrey in the 31st minute, but three minutes later, Nick DeProspero (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) saw his shot stopped by Wasps goalkeeper Justin Spencer. James Lawrence (Midlothian, VA/Midlothian) shot from the left side of the 18-yard box at 42:02 to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Intermission changed the complexion of the game. While the first half was mostly devoid of offense with only five shots, the second stanza saw shot totals increase fourfold to 20. While Emory & Henry fired off 13 shots in the second half, the Tiger defense forced them into tough, low accuracy shots as the Wasps only had two on goal. Hampden-Sydney got a few scoring opportunities, registering four shots on goal in the half, but Spencer turned back all of them.
Emory & Henry outshot Hampden-Sydney 15-10, but H-SC held a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Wasps earned an 8-4 edge in corner kicks. The shutout is the sixth of the season for the Tigers and the fifth one in the last six games.
The Tigers close out the regular season on Tuesday with a 7 pm road contest at Guilford College. Even though 10 ODAC teams close out their regular season Tuesday, the Tigers ODAC Tournament fate will not be completely determined until after the Shenandoah vs. Bridgewater contest on Wednesday.