Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team will look to continue its fast start to the year with a pair of contests in Kentucky on Wednesday and Saturday.
The Panthers will begin their week by opening conference play against Transylvania, with game time scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 13. Then, the Blue and Red will travel to Bellarmine University for a neutral-site showdown against Kean (N.J.), with action slated for 3 p.m., Saturday, March 16.
LAST WEEK AT MUSKINGUM: HC garnered its third straight win with a triumph over Muskingum (Ohio) on March 9, topping the Fighting Muskies 12-7. Sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) and junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) co-lead Hanover in scoring with three goals apiece, with Kimmins' goals all coming in the first half. Fonner hit the back of the net on three of the Panthers' seven man-up opportunities, five of which resulted in goals.
Junior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.) had the most points on the day, notching seven from a pair of scores and five assists. With his performance, King fell one point away from tying his single-game point mark that he accomplished in a victory over Earlham in 2018. Sophomore Jackson Wheeler (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit a pair of shots and dished a dime on the afternoon as well.
Defensively, junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) made 17 saves, including 12 in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter. For his efforts, Dubrava received his second career conference award. Prior to his showing against Muskingum, Dubrava made 12 saves to aid in a 6-5 triumph over Calvin (Mich.) on Feb. 28.
MIDDIE MARKSMEN: The midfielder duo of Fonner and King have each successfully continued their active point streaks to 19 and 18 respectively, while also maintaining balanced stat sheets. For Fonner, he has six goals and five helpers for 11 season points, which are all among the top 5 for HC. Fonner has five of his goals in the last two outings, with two coming against the Knights on Feb. 28. Of his seven scores, four are man-up goals, which ranks among the national leaders.
As for King, he has hit the back of the net five times to go with an HCLC-leading 10 assists for 15 points. King is already halfway to his 2018 total of 20 dimes, as he is currently dishing assists at a per-game clip of 2.5, which is amongst the tops in NCAA Division III. Out of his four appearances in 2019, he's had multiple helpers in three of them.
MAKING THEIR ATTACK RUN: Kimmins and Wheeler have both been solid in their second year as a part of the attackers group. Kimmins has a conference-leading 11 goals and is third in the HCLC with 12 total points. On the topic of streaks, Kimmins has scores in 10 straight contests and 12 of his last 13 dating back to 2018. Moreover, Kimmins' shot percentage is still among the league's best, as he is seventh overall and second among players with 20 or more shots at a .423 clip.
Wheeler has quietly been building a streak of his own, as he has scores in all four in 2019 and six of his last seven going back to 2018. He's hit the back of the net six times and dished a pair of dimes for eight points after totaling 13 points his freshman year. In two games, including against Muskingum, Wheeler had a pair of goals and an assist, with both games resulting in wins. Wheeler didn't miss a shot in either contest, and has missed just three on the season.
DASTARDLY DEFENDERS: Dubrava has been at a conference-leading level this year, as he holds the top marks in save percentage (.623) and goals allowed average (8.21), which rank 23rd and 41st in the nation, respectively. Additionally, Dubrava has allowed just 23 goals, which is the second-best mark in the HCLC. In his last outings against Calvin and Muskingum, Dubrava combined for 29 saves while surpassing a save percentage of .700 in each.
Junior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) has caused two turnovers in three straight appearances, totaling seven on the year. Against Muskingum, Trachtman had his best statistical showing, as he had a pair of forced giveaways to go with a season-high six groundballs in the Panthers win.
Junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) is leading HC with eight caused turnovers, six of which were caused against Centre (Ky.). Clay has been consistently gathering groundballs, grabbing five or more in every matchup in 2019. Versus the Fighting Muskies, Clay scooped up nine grounders to aid the defense.
SCOUTING TRANSYLVANIA: The Transylvania Pioneers are 3-2 overall in 2019 and will also open their conference calendar with their meeting against Hanover. In 2018, these two squads squared off in a couple of close ones, with the Pioneers on the winning end of a duo of two-score finals. The Blue and Red, on the other hand, are looking for their first triumph over Transylvania since they won an 8-7 battle in overtime in 2015.
SCOUTING KEAN: The Kean Cougars are 1-0 after a 14-5 win over Castleton University (NJ) on March 9 and will play Rhodes (Tenn.) at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 13 before playing HC. The Cougars went 12-6 in 2018 and made the Eastern College Athletic Conference Semifinals before losing to Stockton (NJ) 19-6.
Contact: Tyler Jester