HANOVER, Ind. – A balanced offensive attack secured the Hanover men's soccer team a 3-1 home win over Mount St. Joseph Wednesday afternoon in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.
The Panthers' win improves them to 10-6-0 overall and 7-1-0 in HCAC play. Hanover also controls its own destiny for a second conference regular season title in the last four years.
The Blue and Red can clinch the regular season crown as early as Wednesday evening, with a loss or tie by Transylvania at Franklin. If the Pioneers prevail, HC will need a win Saturday to secure the title outright.
Hanover used a 23-6 edge in shots Wednesday to earn the victory. In the match, three different Panther players scored, while an additional three players tallied an assist.
Getting the scoring started was senior Tanner Korfhagen (Cincinnati, Ohio), who scored from eight yards out off a through ball from sophomore Nicholas Ash (Louisville, Ky.). Korfhagen's goal in the ninth minute put HC in front 1-0 and improved his team-high season goal total to nine.
The Panthers continued to apply pressure after the score but a shift in possession occurred near the 18th minute and at 20:39, the Lions (5-11-1, 4-4-0 HCAC) found the equalizer, tying the match at 1-1.
As the first half was nearing its end, swift and quick passing led to sophomore Renato Yostsui (Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, Brazil) scoring his second goal of the season. Yostsui's goal in the 33rd minute came off a pass from freshman Leonardo Bottura (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
Sophomore Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.) made his lone save of the match in the 21st minute, giving HC a 2-1 lead at the intermission. Overall, HC enjoyed a 12-2 edge for shots on goal.
The lone goal of the second half came from freshman Luke Eppler (Evansville, Ind.). Eppler made a run to the right edge of the six-yard box and scored off a ball from sophomore Josh Hughes (Lafayette, La.) in the 84th minute.
Hanover held the Lions to just two second half shots, while also having a few attempts in front of the goal either hit the crossbar, post or miss high. Korfhagen and Hughes combined for 13 shots in the match, with the latter logging a team-high eight attempts. Hughes also posted five shots on goal.
The Panthers will look to secure the HCAC regular season championship and the conference tournament's No. 1 seed when they welcome Defiance on Saturday, Oct. 27. The Senior Day match is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.
Contact: Tyler Jester