Hughes wins Player of the Year. Four named to HCAC First Team

Hughes wins Player of the Year. Four named to HCAC First Team

HCAC RELEASE

CARMEL, Ind. – The Hanover men's soccer team received eight total honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The Panthers earned the award for Offensive Player of the Year to go along with seven players being named to the HCAC All-Conference team.

Highlighting the All-Conference accolades was junior forward Josh Hughes (Lafayette, La.) who earned Offensive Player of the Year recognition. This is Hanover's second Offensive Player of the Year honor (Enrico Franchini – 2015) under Head Coach Matt Wilkerson.

Hughes' stellar season saw him tie his goal total from last year with seven and added nine assists to post a team-high 23 total points on the year ranking him third in the HCAC. Hughes also paced the HCAC in shots on goal with 30. On top of being named the Offensive Player of the Year, Hughes also received first team All-Conference honors.

Joining Hughes on the first team were sophomore forward Luke Eppler (Evansville, Ind.), sophomore midfielder Evan Redmon (Louisville, Ky.), and junior back Myles Joseph (Lafayette, La.).

The forward combo of Hughes and Eppler was arguably the best one-two punch in the HCAC this fall, as the two combined for 16 goals, including five game-winners. Eppler's season saw him lead the team with nine goals, ranking him second in the conference, and adding three game winners. His game winning goal against Franklin late in the second half helped jumpstart the Panthers winning streak which has now ballooned to 10 games.

Redmon is making another appearance on the first team after earning the award as well as garnering Freshman of the Year honors last season. With four assists on the year Redmon ranks ninth in the conference, but no assist was more important than his assist on the game winning goal in the regular season against Rose-Hulman.  With time winding down, Redmon sent a ball into the box that lead to a Hughes bicycle kick goal to propel the Panthers to the 2-1 victory and was the deciding factor in Hanover winning the HCAC regular season crown.

Joseph led a backline that recorded a season goal against average of 1.03 this season, which was the second-best mark in the HCAC. Hanover also totaled six shutouts, including four against conference opponents. Thanks in large part to Joseph, the Panthers have not given up more than one goal in a game since Oct. 12.

Additional conference awards went to sophomores Fellipe Busato (Sau Paulo, Brazil) and Fernando Martin (Sao Jose Do Rio Preto, Brazil) who were each named second team All-Conference, and junior goalkeeper Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.) picked up honorable mention accolades.

The duo of Busato and Martin were a large part of how Hanover was able to control the ball effectively all season long. Each helped control the middle of the field and set the pace for the game, both huge reasons why the Panthers were able to finish out conference play with a record of 8-1.

Despite missing the first half of the season due to injury, Bedel was able to step in and be a dominant force in goal for Hanover. Once healthy, the goalkeeper allowed only three goals on his way to an 8-0-0 record and a save percentage that tops in HCAC at .842.

The Blue and Red capped off the regular season in style advancing past Rose-Hulman on penalty kicks to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers will begin their postseason play on Saturday, Nov. 16th as they take on Rochester (N.Y.) in the first round.