TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team ended the 2013 season in the national rankings for the first time in program history, after a run to the NCAA Division III Tournament Sweet Sixteen last month.
Rose-Hulman completed the season ranked No. 21 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and No. 22 by d3soccer.com. The Fightin' Engineers completed a 12-6-5 season that included a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship, two victories in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and the upset of the 2013 tournament with a win over No. 1 ranked Ohio Wesleyan.
The historic season also featured seven all-conference award winners, two all-region selections and a team defensive effort that ranked ninth nationally in goals against average (0.57) and 10th in shutouts (13).
Rose-Hulman started its postseason march by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship match by a 1-0 score in double overtime against Transylania University. The first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament was also memorable, as the Fightin' Engineers advanced past Penn State Behrend with a victory in penalty kicks.
The first round victory set the stage for Rose-Hulman's most memorable match of the 2013 season, the NCAA Tournament second round game at Ohio Wesleyan. After an early goal by sophomore Mike Smyser, a strong defensive effort held the top ranked Battling Bishops without a score in the 1-0 victory. Rose-Hulman advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time, where Franklin & Marshall ended the run with a win.
Senior Drew Belk led the Rose-Hulman offensive attack with 15 goals and 33 points. Senior William Senat had eight goals and five assists for 21 points, and senior Ben Green led the team with eight assists along with three goals for 14 points.
Freshman Ben Lyon pitched in with four goals, Smyser added three and senior Max Brown also had five points on three assists to lead the Fightin' Engineer offense.
Defensively, Rose-Hulman's back defensive line helped goalkeepers Drew Miller and Alec Houpt combined for a school record 13 shutouts this season. Miller finished with a 0.60 goals against average and a school record .851 save percentage to lead the defensive effort. The Rose-Hulman defense went five straight matches without allowing a goal leading up to the Franklin & Marshall game.
The 2014 Rose-Hulman men's soccer schedule will be released in the coming weeks.