RHIT Men's Soccer Ranked No. 22 Nationally
Men's Soccer Ranked No. 22 Nationally in Preseason Poll
TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- After enjoying the first Sweet Sixteen run in program history last year, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team opens the 2014 season ranked No. 22 nationally in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll.
Rose-Hulman finished the 2013 season ranked No. 21 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and No. 22 by d3soccer.com. The Fightin' Engineers completed a 12-6-5 season that included a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship, two victories in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and the upset of the 2013 tournament with a win over No. 1 ranked Ohio Wesleyan.
The historic season also featured seven all-conference award winners, two all-region selections and a team defensive effort that ranked ninth nationally in goals against average (0.57) and 10th in shutouts (13).
The 2014 team features the return of 12 letter winners and five starters from last year's HCAC and NCAA tournament run.
Rose-Hulman started its 2013 postseason march by winning the HCAC championship match by a 1-0 score in double overtime against Transylania University. The first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament was also memorable, as the Fightin' Engineers advanced past Penn State Behrend with a victory in penalty kicks.
The first round victory set the stage for Rose-Hulman's most memorable match of the 2013 season, the NCAA Tournament second round game at Ohio Wesleyan. After an early goal by Mike Smyser, a strong defensive effort held the top ranked Battling Bishops without a score in the 1-0 victory. Rose-Hulman advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time, where Franklin & Marshall ended the run.
Defensively, Rose-Hulman's back defensive line helped goalkeepers Drew Miller and Alec Houpt combined for a school record 13 shutouts. Miller finished with a 0.60 goals against average and a school record .851 save percentage and returns in 2014 to lead the defensive effort. The Rose-Hulman defense went five straight matches without allowing a goal leading up to the Franklin & Marshall game.
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.