Women's Soccer Travels to Hanover for HCAC Semis



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women's soccer team will take the No. 4 seed into Wednesday's all-important Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at top-seed Hanover Wednesday beginning at 2 p.m.

The winner will face the winner of Tuesday's other semifinal,  No. 3 Transylvania at No. 2 Manchester. The championship match will be played Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

The Engineers (10-5-4, 6-3 HCAC) will play in their first conference tournament since 2009 in the matchup, which will feature a rematch of a 1-0 Hanover victory in overtime back on Oct. 26. The Panthers' Rachel Alvis connected on the game winner in the 92nd minute to seal the victory.

Senior Nicky Wheeler (Avon, Ind./Avon) leads Rose-Hulman with seven goals and four assists and sophomore teammate Hayley Gilliam (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) has four goals and an assist in 2013.

225 Wheeler HCACSophomore keeper Lucinda Combs (Danville, Ky./Boyle County) has emerged as one of the best in the nation, as she not only ranks at top of the HCAC in goals-against average (0.50), saves (142), shutouts (11) and save percentage (.934), but also stands as No. 1 in all of Division III in save percentage. Rose-Hulman's team save percentage (.935) is also ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Engineers five losses in 2013 have come by a combined seven goals and all three of their HCAC setbacks have come in overtime to the three teams in the tournament. Comb's 11 shutouts are also a program record, topping her previous mark of eight, which she set in 2012.

Hanover (8-0-1, 15-1-2) enters the matchup after capturing its first regular-season title since 2011. Anna Cornacchione leads the Panthers with 11 goals and four assist and teammate Elaine Simpson has seven goals and four assists. Goalkeeper Morgan Cole picked up the shutout win over RHIT in the last meeting, as she's recorded a 0.53 save percentage and allowed just eight goals in 2013.

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 http://vault.hanover.edu/~cloyd/live/soccer/

Live coverage will also be available via Twitter by following RHIT Sports Information Graduate Assistant Nicole Watkins at @NicoleWatkinsRH.