Panthers cap week with win over Earlham

Eric Hopkins

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team garnered its fifth victory in the last six contests on Saturday afternoon with a 21-1 decision at Earlham (Ind.).

With the triumph, the Panthers advance to 8-4 overall, with a 3-1 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference. The Earlham Quakers effectively fall to 2-9 overall, with a 2-3 slate in the HCLC.

The Blue and Red opened scoring when freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) hit the back of the net with 10:41 left in the first quarter. In the two minutes following, sophomore Jackson Wheeler (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.) would notch scores to take a 3-0 advantage. Hanover would end the period with a quick trio of scores, as another King goal was sandwiched between two from sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) to expand it to a 6-0 margin after 15 minutes of play.

In the second quarter, HC rifled off eight unanswered scores. Pairs came from Kimmins, King, and Meinhart, while junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) and Wheeler added one goal each to help extend a 14-0 Hanover lead at halftime.

After the half, the Blue and Red continued to hold the Quakers scoreless through the end of the third quarter. Senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) got on the board during the frame, while freshman Chris Higgins (Indianapolis, Ind.) added his first collegiate goal to help the Panthers to a 19-0 cushion at the termination of the third frame.

In the fourth, sophomore Eric Hopkins (Evansville, Ind.) and junior David Lewis (Indianapolis, Ind.) made their way on the scoreboard to aid HC in closing the game. It was not until 9:02 remaining in the matchup that the Blue and Red allowed a goal, the only one they would let up on the afternoon.

For the day, King had eight points on five scores and a trio of assists. With that, it is now King's third performance of eight points in three career matchups with Earlham. Meinhart and Kimmins each ended the afternoon with four scores, with Meinhart also dishing a dime. Schell contributed on multiple levels as has been the case lately: the senior recorded one score and a pair of helpers, led HC with 13 groundballs, and went an unblemished 15-for-15 in faceoffs.

Defensively, the goalkeeping unit of junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) and freshman Sean O'Meara (Lexington, Ky.) combined for 10 saves in the net, with O'Meara having seven in the second half. Junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) led the defensive unit with eight groundballs.

As a unit, the Blue and Red beat the Quakers in many phases. From the faceoff "x," the team was 24-of-26, which aided them in a ground ball margin of 52 to 15. In clears, HC was 20-for-21, while they outshot the competition 58 to 15.

The Panthers will look to continue their roll when they travel to face HCLC rival Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 10.

Contact: Tyler Jester