Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team will begin its 2018 campaign with a pair of games this weekend.
The Panthers will open their season this Saturday, Feb. 24, when they host Centre (Ky.) with a 1 p.m. scheduled start time. The Blue and Red will subsequently travel to face Greensboro (N.C.) on Monday, February 26.
SIZING UP THE COMPETITION: Centre (Ky.) finished 5-9 overall last season but is off to a strong start this year, posting a 2-1 mark. The Blue and Red will be searching for their first win in the series history against the Colonels, as the two sides played to a 10-9 game the last time they met at Alumni Stadium in 2016. Monday's opponent, Greensboro, is not one that the Panthers have faced as of yet. Last season, Greensboro finished 3-13 and the Pride are 0-2 in 2018.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Face-off specialist and junior midfielder Sam Green (Beaumaris, Australia) garnered Ohio River Lacrosse Conference all-first team selection last season for his league-leading 62 percent success on face-offs. Standout sophomore defender Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) was honored with ORLC All-Second team honors following his impressive freshman campaign, which saw him lead the squad with 23 caused turnovers. Junior Joseph DeLeo (Waterford, Mich.) made ORLC Honorable Mention following a year in which he scored 18 goals and dished out 18 assists for a team-high 36 points.
YOUNG TALENT: Sophomore midfielder Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) and his fellow classmate/goalkeeper Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) each were ORLC Honorable Mention choices following their debut seasons. Clay's skills translated to an ORLC Defensive Player of the Week award last year for a game in which he tallied 11 groundballs and 2 forced turnovers. Dubrava, meanwhile, was amongst the best goalkeepers in the conference and NCAA Division III in statistical categories, including saves per game (13.5) and goals allowed average (10.0).
NOTABLE STATISTIC: During the Blue and Red's past season, all their wins came at Alumni Stadium, where they held a 3-3 record. In those games, their scoring average (GPG) was nearly double that of their away games, by a margin of 11 GPG to 6. Moreover, they scored 18 more goals despite playing in two fewer home matchups than away ones.
Contact: Tyler Jester