HIT Men's Soccer Picked as HCAC Preseason Favorite
VIDEO: Sean Helliwell reacts to the HCAC Poll:
TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team has been picked as the preseason favorite to capture the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship this season, in the annual preseason poll of league coaches.
Rose-Hulman earned the top preseason honor after reaching the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history last season. The run included a second round NCAA Tournament win over No. 1 ranked and previously undefeated Ohio Wesleyan.
Rose-Hulman recieved seven of 10 first-place votes in the poll, with Hanover picked second and Transylvania third. Anderson, Earlham and Franklin were picked fourth through sixth, with Defiance, Manchester, Mount St. Joseph and Bluffton rounding out the poll.
The 2014 team features the return of 12 letter winners and five starters from a defensive effort that ranked ninth nationally in goals against average (0.57) and 10th in shutouts (13).
Defensively, all-region goalkeeper Drew Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) paced a performance that resulted in a school record 13 shutouts. Miller returns for his senior season after compiling a 0.60 goals against average and a school record .851 save percentage, and is joined by senior Andrew Bartush (Granger, Ind./Penn) as a returning all-conference performer.
The 2014 schedule begins with the Rose-Hulman Invitational on Aug. 29-30. The Fightin' Engineers host Alma on Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. and Kalamazoo on Aug. 30 at 4 p.m.