Clay retrieves school-record 21 groundballs in Panthers' third straight win

Eric Clay

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) set a new single game record with 21 groundballs, senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) was 14-for-15 in faceoffs and sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) tallied a career-high eight goals as the Hanover men's lacrosse team defeated Mount St. Joseph Wednesday evening, 23-2.

The Panthers have won three straight, all Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference contests, improving to 9-4 overall and 4-1 in league play after Wednesday's triumph. The Blue and Red, winners of four straight HCLC games, have also won six of their last seven overall outings.

Another fast start was key in Hanover's success, as Kimmins scored four of his goals during a nine-score first quarter for the Panthers. The Blue and Red led 9-2 after 15 minutes of play Wednesday. During the current three-game win streak, HC has outscored its opponents 21-2 in the first quarter.

Five additional Panthers scored in the first quarter, including juniors Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) and Noah King (Lexington, Ky.), who finished the contest with three goals apiece. Schell logged his lone goal in the first, while sophomore Eric Hopkins (Evansville, Ind.) had one of his two scores come in the first period. Junior Patrick Boylston's (Boca Raton, Fla.) lone goal came in the first as well.

Kimmins was involved in the game's only two scores in the second quarter. The sophomore first assisted King 45 seconds in before finding the back of the net himself at the 5:38 mark.

Behind a 28-6 edge in shots, Hanover led 11-2 at the intermission. Schell was 11-for-11 in first half faceoffs, as the Panthers were perfect at the "X" over the first 30 minutes, 15-for-15.

The Blue and Red outscored the Lions (0-11, 0-4 HCLC) 12-0 in the second half, which included eight goals in the third quarter. Sophomore Jackson Wheeler (Indianapolis, Ind.) had all four of his goals in the second half, finding the net twice in each period.

To go along with Wheeler's two fourth quarter scores, Fonner and freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) both recorded one goal. All four fourth quarter goals came in the first five minutes of the stanza.

Overall, Hanover enjoyed a 52-8 advantage in total shots, including a 37-4 edge on goal. Kimmins, who had a team-high 10 points, also paced the Panthers with 11 shots, with 10 coming on target. Wheeler added nine attempts, while King and Fonner each posted eight shots. King also had five assists to finish with eight total points.

Defensively, junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) made two saves in 45 minutes of work. To go along with his record-setting groundball total, Clay had all three of the team's caused turnovers.

Senior Tyler Kordesich (Walkerton, Ind.), 6-for-7, sophomore Justin Wilson (Fishers, Ind.), 5-for-6, and freshman Colt Lambdin (Traverse City, Mich.), 1-for-1, aided Schell in faceoffs, as the Panthers won 26-of-29 attempts. Kordesich pitched in with two groundballs as well.

Hanover will look to continue its winning ways when they host the Lions at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 20.

Contact: Tyler Jester