HANOVER, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament final saw a competitive chess match between the no. one seed Panthers and the no. two seed Fightin' Engineers where the Blue and Red used a late second half goal to force overtime before ultimately winning the title on penalty kicks, 4-2.
Sophomore Patrick Rowe (Terre Haute, Ind.) would deliver the game tying blow in the 90th minute earning Most Valuable Player honors.
"Rose-Hulman is a very organized team defensively and I knew in the final seconds they were just trying to hold on but once I scored it gave us the momentum needed headed into overtime," added Rowe on his huge second half goal.
In a very competitive tournament final, the Panthers (12-5-2 overall) applied the pressure early as junior Josh Hughes (Lafayette, La.) attempted a touch cross just right of goal that was intercepted by the Fightin' Engineers defensemen. Hanover would get the first shot of the contest in the 21st minute as sophomore Luke Eppler (Evansville, Ind.) took a header that just missed wide of frame.
The chess match continued as neither teams' defensive efforts budged allowing just five shots total in the first half that saw Hanover with two shots.
Rose-Hulman flipped the script in the second half as they controlled the momentum early with a free kick in striking distance that was punched out by junior Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.). Rose-Hulman delivered in the 59th minute as they played a free kick from outside the 18-yard box that was netted for the games first dagger, 1-0.
The Blue and Red looked to find the equalizer in the 67th minute as Hughes took a corner kick that was headed just wide of net.
Hughes got another chance in the 79th minute with a corner kick to sophomore Patrick Rowe (Terre Haute, Ind.) that was swept away off the Rose-Hulman goal line.
However, the dramatics weren't over as Rowe provided the game tying blow in the winding seconds of regulation to push an overtime thriller.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the Panthers and Fightin' Engineers headed to penalty kicks. Sophomore Carlos Schryver (Sao Paulo, Brazil) recorded the first make of the afternoon when junior Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.) denied the Rose-Hulman kicker giving HC the 1-0 advantage. Junior Renato Yostsui (Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, Brazil) extended the lead as he netted his PK before back-to-back goals by Rose-Hulman tied the contest at 2-2. Junior Nicholas Ash (Louisville, Ky.) remained poise and delivered his blow before Hughes sealed the deal with the Panthers final kick for the 4-2 victory.
Hanover will await the NCAA selection show on Monday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 PM earning the automatic qualifier with the win.