TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- After Thursday's thrilling victory in the penalty kick round over Penn State Behrend, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team is headed to the NCAA Division III second round to take on the No. 1 team in the country.
Rose-Hulman (11-5-5) will travel to the Jay Martin Soccer Complex in Delaware, Ohio, to face Ohio Wesleyan (19-0-3) Sunday in a 1 p.m. matchup. The Battling Bishops earned a first-round bye into the NCAA tournament.
The Engineers made school history Thursday by advancing to the second round for the first time with a 9-8 edge in penalty kicks. Rose-Hulman battled Penn State Behrend to a 0-0 draw in two overtimes before coming away with the win in the penalty kick round. Junior keeper Drew Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) helped the Engineers build upon a school-record in shutouts with 12, as he stopped 10 Lions shots in the contest, including several point-blank tries down the stretch.
After PSB's final penalty kick attempt hit the right post, Rose-Hulman senior Marshall Ishmael (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) put away the game winner to give the contest to the Engineers.
Ohio Wesleyan enters the match as one of the most storied programs in Division III history. The Battling Bishops captured their sixth straight and 25th overall conference championship when they topped Kenyon 3-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament title match. In order to reach the title match, the Bishops had to beat RHIT rival DePauw on penalty kicks, 6-5, in the NCAC semifinals after the two teams played to a 2-2 draw.
Ohio Wesleyan leads all NCAA Division III institutions with 35 NCAA playoff appearances in men's soccer. The Battling Bishops have reached the national semifinals 9 times, and won national championships in 1998 and 2011.
Colton Bloecher leads the Bishops with 13 goals and teammate Brian Schaefer adds 11 goals to highlight the offense. Keeper Colin Beemiller has played 1,989 minutes in goal, as he's recorded a 0.72 goals against average to go along with 60 saves.
The Engineers make their third trip to the NCAA tournament after winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship with a 1-0, overtime victory over Transylvania. Rose-Hulman's last berth came in 2011, when the Engineers defeated Earlham 5-1 in the HCAC tournament championship and went on to play No. 8 Ohio Northern in the first round of the NCAAs, where they fell, 2-0. RHIT also advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2008, falling to Dominican (3-1) in the first round.
Senior forward Drew Belk (Jasper, Ind./Jasper) has led the Engineers in goals nearly all season, as he accounted for the game winner in the 101st minute in the HCAC championship win to give him 15 scores on the year. Belk was named the HCAC Tournament MVP for his play, which included two goals in a 3-0 semifinal victory over Hanover.
Senior teammate Will Senat (Edmond, Okla./North) adds eight goals and five assists and classmate Ben Green (Frisco, Texas/Centennial) adds three goals and eight assists.
Miller has been stellar in the net all season, as his 0.51 goals against average is ranked 10th in all of Division III. Miller has stopped 76 shots in 2013 to go along with a .859 save percentage.
The Engineers are no stranger to overtime matches in 2013, as Rose-Hulman has played teams to extra time eight times this season. The Engineers are 2-1-5 in overtime contests.
All of Rose-Hulman's HCAC tournament championships and NCAA tournament appearances have come under the tutelage of sixth-year coach Sean Helliwell, who has recorded a 73-34-16 overall record since taking over the helm. That mark includes a dominating 46-6-6 record against HCAC opponents.
Live stats for Sunday's contest will be available at http://bishops.owu.edu/BishopLive/msoccer/live.html