Early offense leads to 19-7 victory for men's lacrosse

Bret Schell

HANOVER, Ind. – Behind a 16-goal first half, the Hanover men's lacrosse team cruised to a 19-7 home victory over Fontbonne (Mo.) Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (5-3) scored eight goals in each of the first two quarters to jump out to a 16-1 lead after 30 minutes of play. Three second-half goals led to the 19-7 decision for HC, giving the team its second straight victory overall and at home.

Senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) and sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) did all of their offensive damage in the first half, each recording four goals and one assist over the first 30 minutes of play. Sophomore Jackson Wheeler (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.) each finished with three goals as well. King also added a first half assist, running his team- and conference-high point total up to 31.

The quartet combined for 14 of the team's 19 goals in the game, 13 of which came in the first half. Schell was also a main contributor to the team's success at the face-off "X," converting on 9-of-11 attempts. Sophomore Justin Wilson (Fishers, Ind.) was 11-for-16, which helped lead HC to a 22-of-30 mark for the contest.

Junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) tallied a game-high 11 groundballs. Freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) added five groundballs, as well as one goal and one assist.

In goal, junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) picked up his fifth win of the season, making three saves in the first half. Freshman Sean O'Meara (Lexington, Ky.) logged the final 30 minutes in net, also making three saves, while retrieving four groundballs.

Kimmins started the early scoring spree with a goal just over 30 seconds in off a pass from junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.). Fonner scored the next goal for HC, which started a three-goal run in a span of 2:20. Hanover led 4-0 with 7:00 remaining in the opening period.

The final four first quarter goals all came in the last 1:26. Schell won three face-offs to aid the run and Kimmins found the back of the net twice to give the Blue and Red an 8-0 advantage after 15 minutes of play.

Sophomore Eric Hopkins (Evansville, Ind.) capped a 9-0 scoring run with his second goal of the season at the 13:44 mark of the second quarter. Fontbonne (0-6) responded with its lone goal of the half at 12:28.

The Panthers scored the final seven goals of the half to capture the 16-1 edge on the scoreboard. Schell and Wheeler each scored twice, while Kimmins, King and Meinhart each found the back of the net once near the end of the half. Junior Patrick Boylston (Boca Raton, Fla.) had one of his two assists during the half-ending spurt.

King started the second half scoring at 13:36 of the third quarter. The goal however would be the only score for HC in the period, as they still led 17-4 heading into the final frame. Wilson and freshman Colt Lambdin (Traverse City, Mich.) scored in the fourth quarter to aid the Panthers' in tying a season-high goal total at 19. Hanover also tallied 19 goals in a win at Adrian (Mich.) back on Feb. 26.

Overall, Hanover enjoyed a 40-23 edge in total shots, including a 27-7 advantage in the first half. The Panthers had 28 shots come on goal, while the Griffins were held to just 13. King paced the Panthers in shots with eight, including six on goal.

Hanover will look to match its longest winning streak of the season, three games, when the team welcomes Westminster (Pa.) for a 1 p.m. contest Sunday, March 24.

Contact: Tyler