Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team will look for a successful start to the 2019 campaign as it encounters a trio of opponents over the Winter Break.
The Panthers will open by hosting Centre (Ky.) at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, before trekking to Michigan for a pair of contests with Adrian and Calvin. The Blue and Red will square off versus the Bulldogs at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26, before concluding the week against the Knights at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: The Centre Colonels have been the calendar-opening squad for HC each of the past three seasons, with Hanover still looking for its first win in program history against them. Last year, the Panthers went back and forth with the Colonels in the first half, narrowly trailing by a score of 4-3 before ultimately falling victim to a second-half Centre run. In 2019, the Colonels are 1-1, with their lone victory coming at the hands of Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference institution Mount St. Joseph.
The Adrian Bulldogs will begin their season with a travel to Wabash (Ind.) for a matchup at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, prior to facing the Blue and Red. These two institutions have not played one another since 2012, when Hanover suffered an 11-4 defeat. Adrian was 1-13 in 2018, with their lone triumph coming against Calvin by a score of 5-4.
The Calvin Knights are 1-0 in 2019 with upcoming action against North Central (Ill.) at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, before they face the Panthers. During 2018, the Knights went 4-13 overall, with three victories coming in the month of March.
PANTHERS ON THE PROWL: Junior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.) will look to continue his active 14-game streak of games with a goal, as he has scored one-plus in each contest since March 4 of last year when Hanover played Carthage (Wisc.). King is the highest-scoring returner from 2018, with highlight appearances such as his string of two against MSJ and Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) to close out the regular season. In each, King hit the back of the net three times, totaling eight points over the final two before the conference tournament.
Also looking to build from a strong sophomore campaign is junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.), who garnered an Ohio River Lacrosse Conference honorable mention for his 20 goals and 12 assists in 2018. Fonner had the highest shooting percentage of all returning players who had 20-plus shots with a .339 mark last year on 59 attempts. Fonner had hot stretches of his own, going nine straight with a score and fifteen consecutive with one-plus points.
Defensively, junior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) earned his second consecutive ORLC all-second team selection for another season of 20 or more caused turnovers. Following 23 his freshman year, Trachtman upped it to 27 in his sophomore effort. Against Westminster (Pa.) on April 7, Trachtman scooped up six groundballs while tying a career-best with four forced giveaways. Among his peers, his 1.97 caused turnovers per game was one of the leaders in NCAA Division III.
Last but not least is junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio), who was the lone first-team recipient for HC a year ago. During the 2018 campaign, Dubrava had a .589 save percentage and an 8.75 goals-allowed average. His save percentage was one of the best in the conference and 24th in NCAA Division III. In league action, his numbers were .694 on saves and 5.63 goals allowed average. In 17 contests, Dubrava had 12 outings of 10-plus saves. One of his best games was a 15-stop effort against Thiel (Pa.), where he garnered a conference Defensive Player of the Week award for his help in an 8-7 victory.
Contact: Tyler Jester