Women's Soccer in HCAC Title Game
The women’s soccer team rebounded from a slow start to win eight of its last nine regular season matches, defeat two teams ranked in the nation’s top 20, and make the title game of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament for the fourth year in a row.
The Pioneers posted a 13-5-1 overall record and a 7-1 HCAC mark, good for second place in the regular season conference standings behind 8-0 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. A 1-0 win over No. 18 Wittenberg University on Hall Field helped spark Transy, which traveled to Wilmington College two weeks later and knocked off the No. 20 ranked Quakers 2-0 to get over the .500 mark at 5-4.
That was followed by an 8-0-1 tear that cinched second place in the conference and home field advantage for the first
tournament game, against the College of Mount St. Joseph. Transy defeated the Lions 3-0 to advance to the title game at Rose-Hulman. The Pioneers played well, allowing the game’s only goal in the 69th minute as the Engineers won the HCAC title and its automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship.
Transy also had a strong performance against another nationally ranked team, No. 6 Washington University in St. Louis, before losing 2-1 in the Glenn Hyundai College Showcase at Hall Field. The Bears won their conference and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
|Senior forward Erin Rush|
“Defeating those nationally ranked teams and matching up well with Washington in a close loss shows that we’re right there in terms of talent with the top teams,” said head coach Michael Fulton. “We probably played the toughest schedule in the four years I’ve been here. Our early season losses came as the team adjusted to the strength of the schedule, and after that, the experience and leadership of our senior class set in.”
Three Pioneers were named to the All-HCAC first team. Senior forward Erin Rush was the team’s top scorer with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. She was joined by sophomore midfielder Katie Kelly, Transy’s second leading scorer with eight goals and two assists for 18 points, and sophomore defender Kate McKelway. Rush and Kelly won HCAC Player of the Week honors, as did sophomore midfielder Katie Sutherland.
Senior goalkeeper Ally Tucker led the team in saves with 68 while posting a 0.85 goals-against average. She was named to the CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV third team.