Key Franklin trips ahead for Spartans

Key Franklin trips ahead for Spartans

A pair of important early-season Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matches are at hand for the Manchester University men's and women's soccer teams Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 9.

Match specifics: MU's women travel to Franklin College's Branigin Field at Faught Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff Tuesday, while the men take on the Grizzlies at the same venue and same time Wednesday. Live stats are accessible for both matches via the Manchester University athletics' Internet home at

Spartan Shorts: Women – The Black and Gold (4-6-1, 0-1 HCAC) took league power Hanover to the wire Oct. 5 in their league opener, falling 2-1. Sophomore forward Brandy Crouse (Cleves, Ohio) delivered the goal in the 48th minute after Hanover scored twice early in first half … The tally was Crouse's second in the last four matches and fourth of the year. Junior forward Katelyn Barta (Griffith, Ind.) added the assist for her 20th point of the season … Barta's sixth assist of the season moved her into the HCAC lead. Her 20 points are second-highest. Junior goalkeeper Emily Willmann (Montpelier, Ind.) added 13 saves to her season total, moving to 93 which is first in the conference. Willmann jumped into the top five in save percentage (86.1 – 4th) and goals-against average (1.41 -5th) over the weekend, too. Barta is also second in goals (seven) and fifth in shots (31) through 11 matches. Tuesday's meeting pits the conference's top scorers, as FC's Vanessa Benham is first in goals (10) and points (25) … The all-time series has seen a strong win string for MU with last year's double overtime tie at Spartan Field being the lone blemish on a 14-year-plus streak.

Men – A sparkling first time effort from sophomore Julio Luevano (Aguascalientes, Mexico) in goal Oct. 5 highlighted a hard-fought 2-0 loss to Hanover in Manchester University's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener. Luevano kept the Panthers at bay until the 62nd minute, accumulating three saves over 90 minutes … Junior midfielder Zac Hansen (Muskegon, Mich.) goes into the week within the conference's top five with three assists, ranking him fourth. Sophomore goalkeeper Craig Thacker (Lebanon, Ind.) is second in saves (45) … Junior forward Loic Youth (Detroit, Mich.) neared the top of MU's statistics' chart in shots and shots and goal after having two each against Hanover. His 18 total shots and nine shots on goal are just one off the team lead in both categories, trailing Luevano's 19 and 10 … Franklin owns three successive wins in the series including a 3-1 decision last season at North Manchester.

Return Home: Transylvania University of Kentucky comes to North Manchester Saturday, Oct. 12, for a 1 and 3 p.m. doubleheader.