Men's Soccer Team Picked to Finish 2nd in HCAC

schiff-duTERRE HAUTE, IND. --  The Rose-Hulman men's soccer team has been selected to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released Thursday.

The Fightin' Engineers earned a share of the conference regular season title last fall, marking Rose-Hulman's third league championship in the last five years.  The squad also qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2008 and 2011.

Rose-Hulman shared the 2012 conference title with this year's favorite in the poll, Transylvania University.  The Pioneers received 95 poll points and seven first-place votes, with Rose-Hulman just behind at 91 points and two first-place votes.

Anderson was picked to finish third in the league with 73 points, followed by Hanover (68) and Franklin (67).  Earlham (47), Manchester (39), Defiance (33), Mount St. Joseph (24) and Bluffton (13) rounded out the poll.

Rose-Hulman finished 12-5-3 overall last season and finished 8-0-1 in conference matches to tie Transylvania for the regular season league title.  The Fightin' Engineers return nine starters and 14 letter winners from last season's title squad.

The Fightin' Engineers return six players that received all-conference accolades last season.  Senior Mike Schiff (Martinsville/Mooresville) led the way with HCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was joined on the first-team all-league squad by defender Andrew Bartush (Granger/Penn), forward Drew Belk (Jasper), midfielder Marshall Ishmael (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut), goalkeeper Drew Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) and forward William Senat (Edmond, Okla./North).

The squad also returns two all-region selections in Schiff and Senat, along with an Academic All-American in Belk.  The total roster includes 33 players from 13 states and will arrive on campus later this week.

The team opens the regular season schedule at the Daniel Schuetz Community Classic at Franklin College on Aug. 30-31.