GREENWOOD, IN – Transylvania University has been selected to pace the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference race in women’s soccer this season. The Pioneers received 98 total points in a poll of the conference’s ten head coaches, grabbing eight first place votes. Hanover College finished behind the Pioneers with 85 points and one first place vote.
Earlham College placed third in the poll with 68 total points and the final first place vote, while Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology finished fourth with 65 points. Defiance College received 57 points and finished fifth, while Manchester University (54 points), Franklin College (52), College of Mount St. Joseph (31), Bluffton University (27), and Anderson University (13) rounded out the poll.
Transylvania University finished 2012 with a 7-2 conference record and an 11-6-3 mark overall, finishing second in the league standings. The Pioneers defeated Earlham on penalty kicks in the HCAC tournament championship and fell 3-0 to Washington-St. Louis in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The 2013 version of the Pioneers return two players that earned First-Team All-HCAC honors last fall. Junior forward Alyssa Kruse (Lexington, Ky./Tates Creek) returns after leading the squad in goals and points as a sophomore. Kruse totaled 23 points on the season after scoring 10 goals and contributing three assists. Senior back Anne Marie Dumaine (California, Ky./Campbell Co.) anchored the Transy defense that allowed only 15 goals in 20 matches last fall.
Hanover College finished third with a 6-2-1 conference record last season and finished 13-4-2 overall. The Panthers fell to Transylvania on penalty kicks in the HCAC tournament semifinals. Hanover has one returning First-Team All-HCAC selection from last season’s squad and will have to replace All-American Kaitlin McCulloch on defense. Junior forward Tricia Walsh (Amelia, Ohio/Archbishop McNicholas) led the team with seven goals and 15 points as a sophomore, earning an All-HCAC spot. Hanover fielded the conference’s best offense and defense last fall, scoring 42 goals and allowing only 10 goals in 19 matches played.
Earlham will look for a fourth-straight HCAC title in 2013. The Quakers claimed their first outright league title a year ago with a 7-1-1 mark (12-5-2 overall), but fell to Transylvania in the HCAC tournament title match. Earlham graduated four First-Team All-HCAC members from last season’s squad, including HCAC Offensive Most Valuable Player Joy Doucette. The Quakers offense graduated 37 of its 39 goals from last season.
The 2013 women’s soccer season is scheduled to open on August 27.
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