TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The first step in the path to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship begins Tuesday, Nov. 5., when the No. 2-seed Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team hosts No. 3-seed Hanover College in a 7 p.m. matchup at the Intramural Field.
The winner of Tuesday's contest will host Transylvania University on Saturday at 1 p.m. Transylvania advanced to the HCAC Championship Game with a penalty kick victory after a 1-1 draw against top-seeded Earlham on Tuesday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman (9-5-4, 6-1-2 HCAC) enters Tuesday's contest fresh off its biggest scoring output of the season in Saturday's (Nov. 2) 6-0 victory over Manchester University. Senior Will Senat (Edmond, Okla./North) netted his first career hat trick and classmate Ben Green (Frisco, Texas/Centennial) added three assists.
Senior Drew Belk (Jasper, Ind./Jasper) leads the Engineers with 12 goals this season, while Senat has eight goals and five assists. Green's assist outburst Saturday bumped his season total to eight, tying him with two other players at the top of the HCAC.
Junior keeper Drew Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) has played a crucial role in goal, as his goals-against average (0.61) is tops in the conference. In 18 starts, Miller has allowed just 11 goals to go along with an .841 save percentage, ranked second in the HCAC.
Hanover (10-7-2, 6-2-1) just missed out on an HCAC regular-season title when Defiance College pulled off Saturday's 1-0 upset in double-overtime. Matthew Eldridge leads the Panthers with seven goals and teammate John Wittich has five goals and four assists.
Keeper Trevor Korfhagen has started every match in goal, accounting for 55 saves and a 0.97 save percentage.
The two teams battled to a 0-0, double-overtime draw in their only meeting this season, back on Oct. 26. Miller stopped five shots and Korfhagen nine to preserve both shutouts in a hard-fought match that included 31 total fouls.
Rose-Hulman will look to advance to its first HCAC title game since 2011, when the Engineers defeated Transylvania 5-1 for its second HCAC Tournament title in program history. Rose-Hulman also won in 2008 and was the runner-up in 2006. Both titles have come under the leadership of sixth-year head coach Sean Helliwell.
Admission to Tuesday's match is $6, with Rose-Hulman and Hanover students,
faculty and staff admitted free with valid identification.
Live stats will be available for the contest at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/rhit.portal