Panthers to open season with three-game Winter Break slate


Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover women's lacrosse team will look to start off its season fast as they take on a trio of opponents in a five-day span, beginning this Friday, Feb. 22..

The Panthers will open their campaign by hosting Asbury (Ky.) at 4 p.m., Friday, before turning around for a pair of road contests. At 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24 the Blue and Red will play William Peace (N.C.), before ending the trip with a meeting at N.C. Wesleyan at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26.

SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: The Asbury Eagles were 4-9 last year with three victories at home, including two straight to start the month of April. The William Peace Pacers are in their first season as a program, while N.C. Wesleyan enters their second.

HANOVER LOOKS TO MAKE HEADWAY: Hanover amassed an 11-7 overall record with an 8-3 slate in conference action during 2018. After gaining 10-plus victories for the first time in program history, the Panthers garnered their second consecutive top-four finish in the league for a conference tournament berth, before falling to Transylvania in the semifinal round.

PANTHERS ON THE PROWL: Offensively, senior Rachel Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) will look to continue her heavy involvement in the attack. Now the active scoring leader with 106 points, Davis holds the program mark for total assists (51) as well as dimes in a single contest with eight.

Her 22 goals, 38 assists and 60 points in 2018 were all personal-bests and earned her an Ohio River Lacrosse Conference honorable mention award. Davis had a penchant for assists, as her 2.11 per game was among the top 50 in NCAA Division III.

Junior Kinna Laymon (Fishers, Ind.) was among the squad leaders in goals in 2018 with 47, adding five helpers for 52 points. Following the graduation of Mallory Fogus, Laymon is the highest scorer amongst the midfielders with 79 career points. She will strive to add firepower like she has in past appearances, such as her string of five games between March 9 and March 23 when she had three-plus goals in each game.

Adding juice to the defense is junior Julia Long (Cincinnati, Ohio), who made nine appearances and four starts for this group during the 2018 campaign. When a member of the starting lineup, HC went 3-1, including an 11-4 triumph over Concordia-Chicago on Feb. 26. Long made 11 saves on the afternoon with a .733 save percentage to aid the Panthers. On the year, her 4.36 goals-allowed average was amongst the league's best, as was her .667 save percentage.

UP NEXT: After the three-game stretch, the Panthers will return to action March 5 for the first of four straight games at home. The Panthers are slated to open the stretch at 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, against Muskingum (Ohio).

Contact: Tyler Jester