TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men's soccer team has been picked to finish third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches released on Monday.
Transylvania and Hanover were narrowly picked 1-2, with Transylvania amassing 77 poll points and Hanover gaining 76. Both teams received five of the 10 first-place votes.
Rose-Hulman was solidly in the third position with 66 points, followed by Manchester at 57. Anderson, Mount St. Joseph, Earlham, Franklin, Defiance and Bluffton rounded out the poll.
The Fightin' Engineers return four all-conference players and have 15 new freshmen on the 2019 squad. The squad returns a total of six starters from last season.
The 2018 returnees include 1st team ALL-HCAC junior defender Ethan Butler and 2nd-team honorees Wyatt McKibbon, goalkeeper Pascal Schlee, and defender Ryan Tarr. Other returning scoring leaders include Travis Bednarek (six goals, 13 points); and Eric Kirby (six assists).
Rose-Hulman finished 9-6-3 overall and 6-2-1 in league play last season. The Fightin' Engineers were third in the 2018 HCAC regular season standings, before falling in penalty kicks in the HCAC semifinal match at Transylvania. The 2019 regular season begins Aug. 30, when the Fightin' Engineers host North Central College at 8 p.m.