Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - With the start of the Hanover men's lacrosse season less than one month away, we begin our three-part preview series of the 2018 squad, beginning with a look at the team's attackers.
About to begin their eighth year of competition, the Panthers will look to build on last year's season, which saw half of the team's losses come by two goals or less.
Hanover lost Brock Warner and his 23 goals, 12 assists and 35 points to graduation from last year's team that finished sixth in the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference, but return a pair of juniors and a sophomore with another year of experience.
That group of attackers is expected to be led by junior Joseph DeLeo (Waterford, Mich.), a 2017 All-ORLC selection after leading the team with 36 points. DeLeo also posted a team-high with 18 assists, which was 10th best in the conference, and was third in goals (18) and fourth in ground balls (34) having started all 15 contests last year.
Also back from last year are junior Gage Hafl (Hamilton, Ohio) and sophomore Alex Eash (Goshen, Ind.). Over his first two seasons Hafl has tallied 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 career points as well as 38 ground balls, while Eash gained valuable experience as a freshman after he posted six goals, four assists and six ground balls in 12 matches.
Joining those returners will be freshmen Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) and Eric Hopkins (Evansville, Ind.). The two first year players will round out the attack group and are expected to provide the team with solid depth as they make the transition to the college game.
With another year under their belts, along with a pair of talented freshmen, this group of attackers will be counted on to help the Panthers make a move in the ORLC in 2018.
Next week we will continue the series with part two as we examine the team's midfielders, with part three looking at the defenders and goalkeeper the following week.
Contact: Mike Pritchard