Men’s soccer makes HCAC championship game
The men’s soccer team advanced to the championship game of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament and finished the season with an 11-6-1 overall record, including a 6-2 conference mark.
In the HCAC title game, the Pioneers faced the same Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology team they had lost to 1-0 in overtime in Terre Haute, Ind., to begin league play in September. Transy outshot the Engineers 14-6, but Rose-Hulman, again playing on its home field, got a goal nine minutes into the contest and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Transy had played in four straight NCAA championships leading up to this season, and had not lost an HCAC tourney game since falling to Anderson University in a shootout for the 2002 title. The Pioneers got to the championship match by ousting Manchester College 1-0 in the semifinals, played on Thomas Field.
Led by head coach Brandon Bowman in his seventh year at the helm, the Pioneers got the season off to a great start by winning two games each in the Glenn Hyundai Showcase at Transy and the Bob Allen Showcase at Centre College to go 4-0. They won five straight HCAC games before dropping a 2-1 decision at Bluffton University.
Senior defender/midfielder Ryan Wood, senior midfielder Corey Dillow, sophomore midfielder Stu Hampson, and first-year forward Pierre Manga were named to the All-HCAC first team. Wood was the second-leading scorer on the team with 14 points on five goals and four assists, while Dillow scored one goal. Hampson led the team with 17 points on six goals and five assists, and Manga was third-leading scorer with 12 points off five goals and two assists.
Sophomore midfielder Tony Spero, fourth best scorer at 11 points on five goals and one assist, was named HCAC Player of the Week after nailing a goal against Illinois Wesleyan University and another against LeTourneau University in the Pioneers’ two wins during the Centre showcase.