Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team secured its first ever conference tournament championship berth with a 22-6 victory over the Earlham Quakers at Alumni Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio) hit the back of the net six times and added one assist, which effectively helped him reach 100 career points. The Panthers (12-5, 6-2 HCLC) saw a double-digit performance from junior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.), who now has six appearances of seven-plus points in his last seven outings. In the faceoff, senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) was 19-for-20 and corralled seven groundballs.
Hanover took the lead less than a minute into the game as Kimmins converted on a pass from King to put the Panthers up 1-0 with 14:21 remaining in the first quarter. King added two more scores, helping HC grab a 5-0 advantage at the end of the opening frame. In the second segment, freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) scored or assisted on three of five goals for the Blue and Red, which aided them to a 10-1 halftime lead.
In the second half, HC outscored the Quakers 12-5, with King notching six of his 10 points. In the third quarter, he dished a pair of dimes to Kimmins and junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) that opened up scoring in the half and added goals at the 9:14 and 2:44 marks. Sophomore Eric Hopkins (Evansville, Ind.) had two of his seven season scores in third frame, as the Panthers outdid Earlham 10-2 in the frame. From there, Meinhart and Kimmins hit the back of the net as Hanover held on for the victory.
Meinhart finished the day with six points on four goals and a pair of helpers, while Fonner tallied five points on two scores and a trio of dimes. Senior Tyler Kordesich (Walkerton, Ind.) went 9-for-12 from the faceoff "x," while notching one goal and one assist. Defensively, junior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) had three caused turnovers, while junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) paced the Panthers with 13 groundballs.
The Panthers enjoyed a 50-17 edge in total shots, including a 38-12 advantage on goal. Hanover also won 28-of-32 faceoffs, assisting in a 56-19 count in groundballs. The Blue and Red made a combined six saves, including four from freshman Sean O'Meara (Lexington, Ky.) in the second half.
The Panthers will now travel to play the one seed, Transylvania (Ky.,) for the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Championship at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 4. The winner will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Contact: Tyler Jester