TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology junior Eric Kirby booted home a successful penalty kick to snap a 1-1 tie and lift the Fightin' Engineers to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship Game with a 2-1 victory over Transylania University on Wednesday night.
With the win, Rose-Hulman advanced to the HCAC Tournament Championship Game for the sixth time in the last seven years under the direction of head coach Sean Helliwell. The Fightin' Engineers will travel to HCAC co-champion Hanover College on Saturday at 1 pm for the title matchup.
Ryan Tarr gave the Engineers a 1-0 lead four minutes into the match on a header after an assist from Kirby. Transylvania answered with a goal by Alex Shkraba to knot the score 1-1 in the 18th minute.
The two teams battled evenly for much of the rest of the match, before Kirby's penalty kick snapped the tie. Rose-Hulman outshot the Pioneers 10-6 in the match, with narrow 5-3 advantages in each half.
Rose-Hulman stands 16-3 overall and is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll heading into Saturday's championship match at Hanover. The winner of Saturday's match heads to the NCAA Division III Tournament, and the Fightin' Engineers seek their first NCAA Tournament trip since 2015.