Richmond, Ind. – The Transylvania men's soccer team remained in the top-three of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference table with a crucial 2-1 win over the Earlham College Quakers at Matlack Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The Pioneers improved to 11-2-3 overall, and 6-1-1 in HCAC play to reach 19 points on the HCAC table, good for third place. The Pioneers currently sit two points behind 6-1-0 Hanover, and five points back of first place Rose-Hulman with one game remaining in their regular season schedule.
The victory at Earlham was hard-fought, and required two big moments – one in each half.
The curtain had barely drawn on the match when junior forward Riley Calhoon chimed in with the first goal of the game in the fifth minute for a 1-0 Transy lead. Earlham drew into a conservative lineup, packing its back line to limit the final stages of each looming Transylvania attack.
Trouble struck for the Pioneers in the 35th minute when the Quakers lined up for a corner kick from the right side; while an initial shot in the box was deflected, the Pioneers were unable to fully clear the ball forward, and a second touch by Victor Zuniga from short-range found the back of the net for the 1-1 equalizer.
But Transylvania was not deterred in its quest for a sixth conference win, and 16 minutes into the second half, the team's leading-goal scorer Blake Chidester took a nicely played ball from the backfield into the center portion of the attacking third and delivered an accurate blast from the left side against a helpless goalkeeper for the game-winning goal. The score was Chidester's ninth goal of the season for Transylvania, and it would be all the Pioneers needed the rest of the way.
With less than a half hour in regulation, the Pioneers remained on the offensive, and while they could not come up with an insurance goal, the Chidester goal proved the difference in the end.
Transylvania will wrap up its regular season on Saturday as it visits Bluffton for a 3:30 p.m. contest. The Pioneers with a win and a Hanover loss or tie can clinch the two-seed in the conference ahead of next week's impending conference tournament.
For more on Transylvania men's soccer, follow their official twitter @TransyMSoccer