LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Hanover College men's lacrosse team saw its record-setting 2019 season come to an end Saturday, May 5, falling in the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Tournament Championship at Transylvania (Ky.), 14-8.
The second-seeded Panthers received a career performance from junior netminder Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio), who made a collegiate-high 25 saves. Dubrava now has six career games with 20-plus stops, including two against the Pioneers (14-4) over the past two seasons.
Offensively, four different players found the point column, led by junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.), who finished with a team-high three goals and one assist. Senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) and freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ky.) each added two goals, while junior Patrick Boylston (Boca Raton, Fla.) pitched in with one score and two helpers.
Senior Tyler Kordesich (Walkerton, Ind.) was five-for-nine in the face-off "X" during his final collegiate game. Leading the Blue and Red with eight groundballs was junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.).
The Panthers, who were playing the Pioneers for the third time this season, took their first lead against Transylvania after Meinhart scored at the 8:55 mark of the opening quarter. Fonner added a first quarter score, giving HC a 2-1 lead with 4:55 left in the first 15-minute period. The Pioneers responded with two goals in the closing minutes to capture a 3-2 lead after one quarter.
The Blue and Red were then outscored 3-1 in the second quarter and found themselves in a 6-3 hole at the intermission. Boylston scored his only goal of the contest in the second, after receiving a pass from Fonner at the 8:54 mark.
Hanover was outshot 45-11 in the first half, but thanks to Dubrava's 17 saves, the team found themselves in a similar deficit to the weekend prior's regular season meeting with Transy.
Fonner, Meinhart and Schell all found the back of the net in the third quarter, but the Pioneers tallied five goals to lead 11-6 with 15 minutes remaining. After leading 2-1, HC found itself on the wrong side of a 10-4 scoring run.
Finding itself in its largest deficit of the game at seven goals, 13-6, Hanover took advantage of an extra-man opportunity with just under nine minutes to play, with Fonner ripping in a shot from the top of the zone. Schell scored with 1:16 for the final goal of the contest.
Under first year head coach Jeff Roberts, the Panthers cap the season with a 12-6 overall record and were the HCLC Tournament No. 2 seed after going 6-2 in league play. Hanover's 12 wins sets a new program record and Saturday's game was the program's first appearance in a conference tournament final.
Contact: Tyler Jester