Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - With a slew of returning talent on both sides of the ball, the Hanover men's lacrosse team was picked second in the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference preseason coaches poll with 45 points.
After being a part of the 11-squad Ohio River Lacrosse Conference for four seasons, the league had a makeover, shrinking the size from 11 to five. All HCLC institutions are also members of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in other sports.
Transylvania was tabbed at the top of the league with 50 points and all five first-place votes. Below HC were Mount St. Joseph (38), Anderson (35), and Earlham (32).
In four games against Mount St. Joseph, Earlham, and Transylvania, the Panthers went 2-2 during the 2018 campaign, dropping a pair of contests to the Pioneers, including a narrow defeat in the ORLC Tournament Semifinals.
In four seasons as a member of the ORLC, the Blue and Red were never slotted outside the top five, even garnering a first-place selection in the conference's first year of existence.
Of their six Ohio River Lacrosse Conference award winners from last season, five are returning including an ORLC First Team selection in junior goalkeeper Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio), whose save percentage of .589 in his sophomore year was the 24th-highest mark in NCAA Division III. Junior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) is the lone 2018 second-team pick coming back for another year following the graduation of fellow second-team selection Joseph DeLeo.
Adding to this group are a trio of 2018 ORLC honorable mentions in seniors Evan Bartlett (Oxford, Ohio) and Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio), along with junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.). Bartlett helped anchor the back end with Trachtman and Dubrava, scooping up 32 groundballs while forcing 21 turnovers. Fonner and Schell were each among the top five point scorers for the Panthers in the campaign, scoring 32 and 26 total points, respectively.
Hanover will open its campaign against Centre (Ky.) for the fourth straight season, with action slated for 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23.
Contact: Tyler Jester