Semifinal Setting – MU faces top-seeded Transylvania

 Transylvania University’s Pat Deacon Stadium in Lexington, Ky., is the site for one of two 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinals Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Match details: Kickoff between the fourth-seeded Spartans (10-8) and top-seeded and regular season champion Pioneers (15-1) is 7 p.m. … Live audio, statistics and video are available at links via, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Coach Corey Brueggeman’s program picked it up its first-ever decision over the perennial league powers with a 1-0 double-overtime thriller at Good Field in North Manchester in mid-October. The two sides have met four times in league postseason action with TU claiming each victory by one-goal margins.

HCAC Tournament: Wednesday’s winner advances to the championship match Saturday, Nov. 4, at a site and time to be determined. Second-seeded Hanover and third-seeded Rose-Hulman face off in the other semifinal at HC’s Soccer Complex Wednesday at 2 p.m. … Saturday’s championship match victor earns the conference’s automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships.

Spartan Shorts: The Black and Gold are among four top-five loop statistical categories. Freshman forward Josh Gonzalez (Portage, Ind.) is fourth in assists (six) and second in total shots (58); junior forward Drake DeWitt (Columbia City, Ind.) is also a part of the shots first five, sitting tied for third (46); and senior netminder Brady Forman‘s (Hastings, Mich.) 82 saves (No. 4) and 81.2 save percentage (No. 5) are also in the queue. Going further into the league rankings, senior defender/midfielder/forward Tod Oram (Crown Point, Ind.) is tied for seventh in goals (five); DeWitt’s four assists are firmly behind Gonzalez in a tie for sixth; Gonzalez’ 14 points stand 10th; and Forman’s 19 goals surrendered and 1.06 goals-against average are both sixth-best … MU wrapped up its first conference tournament berth since 2010 and first double-digit win campaign since 2007 with a 1-0 victory over Earlham Oct. 28. The Spartans, who hadn’t been part of the league’s post-season party since 2010, found themselves within reach of that chance when junior midfielder Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie (Accra, Ghana) took a cue from Gonzalez and worked his way in front of the Earlham College goal. Gonzalez, taking a pair of Quaker defenders with him to the left post, gently fed Tetteh-Quarshie who rifled a shot past the visiting netminder for a 1-0 Black and Gold lead. In the end, even with Earlham pushing the tempo down the stretch, the home team defense and Forman made the lone score stand up. Forman collected one save and was aided by the quick thinking of junior midfielder Ben Niederhelman (Ross, Ohio) with the clock winding down in the second frame, as he put himself in front of what looked like the match-tying tally on a header in the box for a back save … MU’s six-match win streak, among the program’s longest, has seen Brueggeman’s squad outscore the opposition 21-1 in six successive shutouts. Forman’s GAA in the span is 0.16, while the offense has a 138-61 shots advantage, an average of 23-10 per match, over the course.

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