Men’s soccer wins HCAC titles, competes in NCAA championship
The men’s soccer team completed one of its finest seasons with a 16-3-2 record that included regular season and tournament championships in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The stellar year ended with a first-round loss in the NCAA Division III national championship.
Transylvania concluded the pre-conference portion of its schedule with a 2-1 loss to Maryville College for a 4-2-1 mark. That was the last loss for the Pioneers until the NCAA tournament as Transy then went on a 12-0-1 tear, which included an 8-0-1 HCAC record. The only conference blemish came in a 2-2 overtime tie with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Transy hosted the HCAC tournament on Thomas Field. The Pioneers dispatched Manchester College 3-2 in overtime in the semifinals, then defeated Anderson University 2-0 in a tough defensive battle for the conference title. The Pioneers had beaten Anderson 1-0 in overtime just one week earlier to clinch the HCAC regular season crown.
Playing in the NCAA championship for the second straight year and their sixth overall appearance, Transy journeyed to Lynchburg, Va., to take on Lynchburg College in an NCAA first-round contest. The Pioneers gave up two goals within a three-and-a-half-minute span in the second half to let a tight game get away from them.
Transy swept the top three HCAC individual honors, with senior forward Brian Williams (right) taking Offensive Player of the Year, senior defender Zach Lange Defensive Player of the Year, and head coach Brandon Bowman Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Williams was also named to the All-Great Lakes Region second team.
In addition to Williams and Lange, first-team All-Conference recognition went to senior defender Kevin Jones, junior midfielder Peter Mikhail, and first-year forward Kyle Smith, who also won Co-Freshman of the Year.