H-SC Soccer On the Prowlby:
After a disappointing 2-1 loss to Roanoke in the semifinals of last year’s ODAC Tournament, the Soccer Tigers enter the 2009 season ranked 4th in the preseason standings. Receiving one first place vote, the Tigers are ranked behind Roanoke, Virginia Wesleyan, and Lynchburg.
Depth will be a key to the Tigers’ success as they return with much experience, as well as many capable freshmen. The freshmen class for the ’09 Soccer Tigers is believed by some to be one of the most skilled classes ever. Junior Captain and goalkeeper John Robert Plyler has been very impressed with the play of the freshmen.
After a few weeks of practice, Plyler is confident in saying, “We brought in one of the best freshman classes we have ever had, and most of the incoming freshmen are skilled.” Some of the freshmen that will look to make an immediate impact are Nick Deprospero, a forward from Midlothian, Curran Blackwell, a defender from Wilson, NC, and Brandon Haynes, a Midfielder from Raleigh, NC.
Along with the incoming freshmen, the upperclassmen will provide a lot of experience and depth. Along with Plyler, the captains will be seniors Christoper Tait and Will Robertson. These leaders will help to emphasize hard work in practice in order to out-prepare their opponents. Plyler hopes and expects to “shock teams with our work rate and willingness to work hard to win.”
Along with an intense work ethic, the Tigers will rely on a certain on-field attitude to help propel them to victory each time they step onto the pitch. As Plyler puts it, “To be able to be top ranked in the ODAC we need to treat every game as if it were our last and take the season day by day. We need to come ready to play every game, showing up with the same mentality and drive to do whatever it takes to win.”
The Tigers finished 12-6-1 last year, with a 6-3-1 record in conference. Even with six losses, the largest defeat they suffered was by only two goals. After such a narrow defeat to now top-ranked Roanoke, the confidence of the team is very high. Plyler believes that the team can be very successful as long as they “have fun and always try to be positive.”