Panthers win overtime thriller with Westminster

Noah King

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant Jake Sipes-Salter 

HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's lacrosse team opened their 2020 season with a 10-9 victory over Westminster (Pa.) in overtime on Saturday afternoon. 

For the second time in as many years, HC and the Titans took their action into extra time, with the Blue and Red coming out on top on both occasions. In 2019, Hanover hosted the Titans in a contest that went into triple overtime, with the Panthers topping Westminster 14-13 in a five-goal fourth quarter comeback. 

The Panthers opened up scoring with a four goal string in the first quarter. Cracking it open was senior Noah King (Lexington, Ky.), who registered two quick scores at 13:07 and 13:05 to take the early lead. At 11:44, King dished an assist to junior Ian Kimmins (Dayton, Ohio), to make the score 3-0 in favor of HC. After more than 11 scoreless minutes, senior Patrick Boylston (Boca Raton, Fla.) hit the back of the net with under five seconds left in the opening frame to take a 4-0 upper hand. 

In the second segment, the Titans rattled off five unanswered scores, with the latter two being on man-up opportunities, to put the Panthers down 5-4 with 5:53 remaining in the half. In the final four minutes of the half, the Blue and Red scored three straight times: Kimmins zipped one past the goalie at 3:53, before senior Eric Clay (Wilmington, Del.) scored his first goal of the campaign at 2:09. The trio was capped by junior Jackson Wheeler (Indianapolis, Ind.) at 1:32, with Kimmin's and Wheeler's scores assisted by senior Dallas Fonner (Evansville, Ind.) to take a 7-5 halftime lead. 

Following the break, Westminster hit the back of the net two straight times to knot the score at 7-7 with 7:27 to go in the third. For the final seven minutes of the period, both defenses held down their respective forts, keeping the score stable at the end of the third frame. 

In the fourth quarter, Kimmins hit the back of the net at 12:15 to get ahead 8-7, before the Titans answered back less than 10 seconds later at the 12:07 mark. At 9:44, the Titans chased in on a go-ahead score to put HC in a 9-8 hole. At 7:39, Fonner tallied his third point by hitting the back of the net to tie the score at 9-9. Fonner's score was the last in regulation, and the bout would see overtime. 

The extra period would end at 2:09, when King notched his third score of the day to end the sudden death period, giving Hanover the win. 

King finished the afternoon with four points on a trio of goals and an assist, while Kimmins tallied three scores. Fonner racked up three points by hitting the back of the net and distributing a pair of dimes. Boylston, Clay and Wheeler each ended the day with one goal. On defense, senior Andrew Trachtman (Carmel, Ind.) causes three turnovers, while in goal senior Noah Dubrava (Centerville, Ohio) had 15 saves. 

As a unit, Hanover was outshot 39-34, but made up for it by saving 15 shots to nine for the Titans. Moreover, HC was aided by a perfect 10-for-10 on clear attempts, and caused 11 caused turnovers to 10 for Westminster. 

The Blue and Red will next take the field at Centre (Ky.) with action slated for 7 p.m., Thursday, February 20.