Hampden-Sydney Tops Men's Soccer Poll
Top Four Teams Separated by Just 11 Points
FOREST, Va. --- In one of the closest surveys
in recent history, Hampden-Sydney College and Lynchburg College
each collected four first place votes in the 2010 ODAC Men’s
Soccer Preseason Poll. Only 11 points separate the top four
teams with H-SC topping the list with 110 points. LC garnered
106 tallies, followed by Roanoke College with 103 points to go
along with a pair of first place votes. Virginia Wesleyan
College picked up the remaining top nod on its way to 99 points
(full poll results below).
Both Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan represented the ODAC in to 2009 NCAA Division III Tournament. The Marlins’ postseason experience ended in the first round with a 4-1 loss to Salisbury. The Hornets earned a 3-0 opening round victory against Catholic University, but penalty kicks sent Christopher Newport University past LC following a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes of regulation and overtime.
Hampden-Sydney (16-4-0 overall, 8-2-0 ODAC in 2009) welcomes back several standout performers from its 2009 squad, including All-ODAC First Team midfielder Bryan Wharton. The Tigers’ junior finished in a tie for second in the ODAC in both goals scored (14) and points (31). He’s joined in the attack by reigning ODAC Rookie of the Year, Nick DeProspero. A second team choice in 2009, DeProspero put his play-making skills on display as he registered 10 assists to place second in the ODAC on the way to 20 points (added 5 goals). Also contributing to the Tigers’ attack is forward Bryan Hughes (5 goals, 2 assists) and midfield captain Matt Hampton (1g, 6a). The defense is led by a pair of senior captains in defender Sam Turner and goalkeeper John Robert Plyler (0.61 GAA, 69 saves). The Tigers’ net-minder was a second team choice last season after helping his team to a league-best 12 goals allowed.
Lynchburg (17-2-3, 7-1-2) also welcomes back a host of talent, including first team senior defender Hunter Smith. Smith’s efforts, along with that of returning second team senior back Zach Ward, spearheaded a defensive unit that surrendered just 17 goals, third-best in the conference. The Hornets’ offense was equally as potent in scoring 56 goals, second in the ODAC. Second team forward Donald Hart returns after leading the team in goals scored (8) and points (18) as a junior. He’s joined by fellow front men senior Michael Abbonizio (7g) and junior Ryan Renfro (4g, 1a).
The strength of Roanoke’s (12-6-4, 7-2-1) team begins with returning first team center backs, seniors Michael Stark and Cameron Lee. The duo combined to help the Maroons to a 0.95 team goals-against-average. Stark, who also scored six goals last year, earned acclaim from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) each of the past two seasons as he was named a third team All-American in 2008 followed by a second team honor in 2009. Roanoke’s offense must replace its top three scorers from 2009. Looking to aid that effort is sophomore forward Cameron Travalini (4g, 2a).
Virginia Wesleyan (14-4-3, 8-1-1) led the conference in scoring with 59 goals and 162 points, but is now faced with the chore of replacing the top two goals and points scorers in the ODAC, including three-time ODAC Player of the Year and all-time leading scorer Brandon Massie. Junior midfielder John McKenzie (4g, 5a) returns as the Marlins leading scorer, and he along with several other holdovers will look to pick up the offensive load. The defense features junior defender Paul Messier and third-year goalkeeper Ryan Zmuda (0.80 GAA, 72 saves). They helped the VWC backline in allowing just 16 goals, second best in the ODAC.
Washington and Lee (5-7-4, 3-5-2) welcomes back both its top two scorers from 2009. Senior forward James Pymm (7g, 1a) is joined by junior midfielder James Paladino (2g, 3a). Sophomore defender/midfielder Conor Starr joins holdover goalkeeper Alex Lambert (0.82 GAA) in protecting the Generals net.
Eastern Mennonite (7-7-5, 5-3-2) returns one of two first team choices in its 2010 ranks. Junior striker Mitchell Leap finished fourth in the ODAC in goals scored (12) and tied for fourth in points (27). He’ll be joined by former high school teammate and junior class-mate, midfielder Bryce Shank (1g, 2a).
Both Randolph (6-9-4, 4-3-3) and Guilford (8-12-1, 3-7-0) look to make return trips to the ODAC Tournament in 2010. Back to help the WildCats to their third straight postseason showing are leading scorer, junior midfielder Tim Songer (7g, 2a), and senior goalkeeper Aaron Humphreys (1.63 GAA, 87 saves). Songer finished 10th in points (16). The Quakers showcase a pair of second team attacking players in sophomores Freddy Gomez (11g, 5a) and Ronnie Castellanos (9g, 4a). Gomez ranked tied for fourth in points (27) and tied for fifth in goals scored and assists. Castellanos was seventh in points (22) and tied for seventh in goals scored.
Randolph-Macon (2-11-3, 2-6-2), Bridgewater (1-16-1, 0-9-1) and Emory & Henry (3-14-0, 1-9-0) look to climb back up the standings towards an ODAC postseason berth. The Yellow Jackets welcome back a pair of attacking players in junior Ethan Cornelio (2g, 1a) and sophomore Rodrigo Walsh (2g, 1a). Second team midfielder Shane O’Donnell leads Bridgewater back out onto the pitch after collecting 11 points (5g, 1a) in his junior campaign. Emory & Henry will look to senior forward P.J. Henson to continue his scoring ways after posting 12 points (5g, 2a) in 2009.
Listed below is the 2010 ODAC Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll. For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites, or go to the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don’t forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook by clicking HERE. You can also follow the ODAC on Twitter by clicking HERE.
2010 ODAC MEN’S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
|1. Hampden-Sydney (4)||110 pts.|
|2. Lynchburg (4)||106 pts.|
|3. Roanoke (2)||103 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan (1)||99 pts.|
|5. Washington and Lee||62 pts.|
|6. Eastern Mennonite||59 pts.|
|7. Randolph||58 pts.|
|8. Guilford||53 pts.|
|9. Randolph-Macon||38 pts.|
|10. Bridgewater||22 pts.|
|11. Emory & Henry||16 pts.|