Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - After the most successful season on record for the Hanover men's lacrosse team, head coach Jeff Roberts and freshman Dirk Meinhart (Elizabethtown, Ly.), along with 10 other players, received recognition from the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Thursday, May 9.
In his inaugural year at the helm, Roberts won HCLC Co-Coach of the Year for guiding the Panthers to their first winning season since 2014 and their first double digit win total in program history. As a unit, the Blue and Red were among the nation's top 20 in shot percentage (.347), groundballs (728) and faceoff winning percentage (.628), while also being in the upper echelon in scoring offense and defense. Overall, HC was 12-6 on the season, with a 6-2 mark in conference play. In the HCLC Tournament, Hanover made the conference final against Transylvania (Ky.), the first time that they have done so.
The Newcomer of the Year award was presented to Meinhart, who notched 34 points on 22 goals and 12 assists in the 2019 campaign. In a deep attack unit, Meinhart made a name for himself with his effort and tenacity, which translated into strong successes. After having four points in the first six contests, Meinhart would score in 11 of the final 12, with eight outings of two-plus points in that span. Against Earlham (Ind.) in the HCLC Tournament Semifinals, Meinhart had a collegiate-best six points, three in each half, as the Blue and Red cruised to a 22-6 victory.
The first teamers are headlined by junior attackman Noah King (Lexington, Ky.), who paced the conference in points (88) and assists (43) in the 2019 campaign to go along with 45 goals. His season total in assists breaks the record set by Josh Green back in 2015. King often produced points in bunches, as he had nine performances of five-plus points during the season. Among them were a pair of double-digit appearances against Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) and Anderson (Ind.), when he notched 10 points on four scores and six dimes in each. King now has 145 career points, consisting of 70 scores and 75 helpers.
In the midfield, senior Bret Schell (Dayton, Ohio) garnered his second straight conference award after landing on the honorable mention squad. After injury, Schell stepped in as the primary faceoff man for HC, and he shined, winning at a clip of .680 that ranked 17th in NCAA Division III. In total, Schell tallied 202 wins on 297 attempts, helping him to break the single season mark set by Sam Green in 2016. Being at the "x" also aided Schell in snagging 128 groundballs, which ranked second in the HCLC. Schell was a key component in the April 27 contest against Transylvania, when he went 10-for-20 in faceoffs, corralled 10 grounders, caused a pair of turnovers, and scored five goals, all in critical points in the game. With a previous 12-of-12 outing at the "x" versus Anderson, Schell won Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his collegiate career. On the year, Schell set personal-bests in goals (32), assists (20), and points (52). At the end of his Panther career, Schell finishes with 142 points on 95 goals and 47 dimes.
One of the trio of defenders that was named to the first team was senior Evan Bartlett (Oxford, Ohio), whose 17 forced errors is the second-highest total of his career after causing 21 in 2018. Bartlett posed a model of consistency, having a precipitated error in 13 of his 16 games played. In a 17-3 win over the Ravens on April 3, Bartlett tallied a pair of grounders and caused turnovers. In four seasons, Bartlett totaled 93 groundballs and 53 caused turnovers in 63 games.
Junior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) earned a spot as the long stick midfielder, as he led the conference with 144 groundballs at a rate of 8.44 per contest, which ranked inside the top 50 in Division III. Additionally, his groundball total set a program record that was previously held by Sam Green since 2016. His 32 caused turnovers ranked third in the league, and came at a rate of 1.78 per game, which was amongst the national leaders. Clay broke single game records for groundballs (21) and caused turnovers (7) this season, which aided him in receiving a duo of Defensive Player of the Week awards. Clay corralled the 21 grounders against MSJ, while precipitating seven errors in the next successive contest, also versus the Lions.
Rounding out the first team is junior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio), who has been named to the first team in two straight seasons. Dubrava, a three-time Defensive Player of the Week recipient in 2019, led the HCLC with a .588 save percentage that ranked 23rd in Division III. Dubrava also had a top 30 goal against average of 8.61, which was second in the conference. Among his performances was a 15-stop afternoon against Westminster (Pa.) on March 24, as he held the Titans to just three scores in the second half while turning away 11 shots.
Landing on the second team was sophomore Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio), who led the HCLC with 62 scores. Kimmins added 18 helpers to hit 80 points, which was the second-loftiest total in the conference. Kimmins was one of the three Panthers that were in the top five in shooting percentage in the HCLC, hitting at a .422 clip. Kimmins had nine outings of five-plus points, including two 10-point appearances against Mount St. Joseph. Combined over the two, Kimmins hit the back of the net 15 times and added five dimes, while shooting close to 60 percent. Versus the Titans, Kimmins had eight points, including a matchup-tying goal with under 10 seconds left in regulation, which helped the Panthers to complete their multi-score comeback.
Junior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) secured a spot on the conference selections for the second time in his career after being named honorable mention in 2018. Fonner shot a career-best .377, including 10-for-16 (.625) in his final four outings in 2019. In 17 head-to-heads, Fonner registered a point or more in 16 of them, with nine straight coming out of the gates this year. Versus Westminster, Dallas had a season-high six points and shot three-for-five as HC came back for the 14-13 victory in triple overtime. On the year, Fonner finished with 48 points on 28 scores and 20 dimes, all of which are personal records.
Making his way into the conference nods for the first time is junior Patrick Boylston (Boca Raton, Fla.), who was second on the team with 20 assists. Adding in his 13 scores, Boylston racked up 33 points, with each total marking a collegiate-best. Boylston had 10 multi-point outings, with his best coming at Adrian (Mich.) on Feb. 26, when he hit both of his shots and dished four dimes in the 19-8 triumph. Boylston heated up at the end of the year: In six of his last eight games he had six multi-pointers, and tallied at least one in all of them.
On defense, junior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) reeled in his third second team selection after a year in which he scooped up 29 groundballs and caused 20 turnovers. Both totals are around his career averages, as he had 29 grounders in 2018 as well as this year. In 13 of his 18 outings, Trachtman had at least one forced error, with multiple in six of those. At the start of the year, Trachtman precipitated eight errors in five contests, and had three straight performances of two caused turnovers. His highlight outing came at Muskingum (Ohio) on March 9, as he corralled six groundballs and forced two errors for the Fighting Muskies.
Concluding the second team honorees is senior Al Alessia (Crown Point, Ind.), who slots in as the short stick defensive midfielder (SSDM). Despite suffering an injury on March 17 versus Earlham, Alessia fought his way back onto the field to complete his senior season and finished with his most caused turnovers (12) in his least games played. Offensively, Alessia hit the back of the net six times and dished five helpers for 11 points on the season, tying his 2018 point total. On April 24 versus Anderson, Alessia hit two of his five shots and added a dime for three points. Additionally, he grabbed a pair of groundballs and caused one turnover. In perhaps his best defensive showing, Alessia had three grounders and three forced errors in the Panther victory over Adrian.
The Christopher M. Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship award was collected by senior Tyler Kordesich (Walkerton, Ind.), who joined the squad as a walk-on after being a team manager for his first two years at Hanover. Kordesich played in all 18 matchups for HC in 2019, totaling three goals, three assists, and 21 groundballs. Kordesich rounded out his career with two of his best outings in the final four matchups: against Anderson on April 27, he had one score, one dime, and four groundballs while going five-for-eight in faceoffs. Versus Earlham in the HCLC Semis, he hit the back of the net once and dished one helper, while going 9-of-12 from the faceoff circle.
Contact: Tyler Jester