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Men’s soccer wins HCAC season title

The men’s soccer team completed an undefeated season in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, then fell to Earlham College in the semifinals of the conference tournament to finish with an overall record of 11-4-4 and an 8-0-1 mark in the HCAC. During the season, head coach Brandon Bowman notched his 150th win as a college coach.

Peter Mikhail
Senior midfielder Peter Mikhail was a first-team All-HCAC player.

It was the second straight year for the Pioneers to claim the regular-season title without losing a conference game. Their only blemish came in a two-overtime, scoreless tie at Defiance College. Transylvania played four of its last five conference games on the road, and clinched the season crown with a 1-0 win at Anderson University on a goal by sophomore midfielder Christian King.

The Pioneers edged out Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, which finished at 8-1. The Engineers’ lone loss came at the hands of Transylvania when the Pioneers visited Terre Haute, Ind., and came away with a 3-1 victory.

That gave Transylvania the No. 1 seed in the league tournament and the right to host Earlham on Thomas Field. After neither team could net the ball during regulation play and two 10-minute overtime periods, the Quakers won a shootout 4-2, along with the HCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship. The Pioneers had been to the NCAA tournament the past two years and had played in the HCAC title game every year since 2002.

Sophomore back Evan Sizemore was named co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Heartland Conference. He anchored Transylvania’s league-leading defense, which allowed just two goals in HCAC play and was the best conference team overall with 12 shutouts.

Sizemore was joined on the All-HCAC first team by seniors Peter Mikhail, Tony Spero, and King. Mikhail, a midfielder, tied for third-leading scorer on the team with 12 points (five goals and two assists), while Spero was fourth with 11 points (four goals and three assists). King led the Pioneers in goals with eight and added three assists to be the top scorer at 19 points.

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