Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover women's lacrosse team will kick off its third consecutive Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference berth with a road matchup against Earlham (Ind.) in the semifinal round.
The Panthers will travel to face the Quakers at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, with the winner moving on to face the victor of the contest between top-seeded Transylvania (Ky.) and Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). The best remaining seed will host the championship game at a time still to be announced.
AS A UNIT: Hanover currently holds a 7-8 overall record, with a 4-2 mark in the HCLC. This group has won four of its last five meetings, all in league action. Per consequence, HC holds the third seed heading into the HCLC Tournament, with their only conference losses coming against the top two teams, Transylvania and Earlham.
The Panther defense has been one of the more disruptive units around, as they rank second in the league with 156 caused turnovers at a rate of 10.40 per game, which ranks among national leaders. In interleague play, their 68 forced giveaways paces the pack of conference schools. Additionally, HC slots inside the top 100 in groundballs per game (22.80) and team save percentage (.531).
MUNDT GARNERS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Hannah Mundt (Prospect, Ky.) earned HCLC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week for her April 27 outing against Anderson (Ind.). In the 20-2 victory for the Blue and Red, Mundt led the squad with seven groundballs while causing five Raven turnovers. Additionally, on April 20, in a clash with MSJ, Mundt corralled five grounders and precipitated four Lion errors.
In summation, her 2019 totals in groundballs (39) and caused turnovers (20) are both collegiate-highs, with each ranking amongst the top 15 in the HCLC. Offensively, Mundt has five goals and one assists, with five of her six points coming in her last three appearances.
TENACIOUS D: Senior Maria Cornacchione (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been a key cog for the defense, totaling 40 groundballs and 24 caused turnovers in 2019, with the latter mark sitting second in the HCLC. Cornacchione has eight groundballs and three forced errors over her past two; three of her grounders and a caused turnover came against Anderson, when the Panthers held the Ravens to just 17 shots while causing 13 of their 20 giveaways.
Freshman Emily Christian (Louisville, Ky.) has accrued four groundballs and precipitated four turnovers in her past three showings, improving her totals to 20 and 13 in their respective categories. Her best statline of the stretch came versus Anderson, wehn she caused a pair of turnovers and nabbed two groundballs; against Thomas More (Ky.) on April 13, Christian added her first collegiate score on a free position attempt late in the game.
Junior Julia Long (Cincinnati, Ohio) has stopped 11 shots in her past two outings, allowing five goals in just under 90 minutes of playing time for a combined .688 save percentage. Effectively, this helped Long to a .514 season save percentage, which is the second-best clip in the HCLC. Long also sits among the league leaders in total saves (132) and goal against average (9.96). Most impressively perhaps are Long's 59 groundballs, which is the third-highest mark in the league and the best amongst netminders by a wide margin.
THE DISTRIBUTION CENTER: Senior Rachel Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Laurel Atchison (Florence, Ky.) are the two assist leaders for HC, having accrued 30 and 18, respectively. For Davis, she has 53 points on 23 scores and 30 dimes, with her assist totals ranking third in the conference. Davis has now reached her collegiate-high in goals, and needs just seven points to tie her junior year points mark of 60. In recent action against Anderson, Davis hit the back of the net on two occasions, dished a pair of helpers, corralled two groundballs and caused a turnover to aid Hanover. Over the past three games, Davis has scored or assisted on 19 of 60 Panther goals.
As for Atchison, her 16 scores, 18 helpers and 34 points all mark career-best numbers for her in a season. On 24 shots, her .667 shot percentage leads the league among players with 10 or more attempts. Atchison surpassed her game-high total in points and assists versus the Ravens, as she tallied seven points on three goals and four assists. In the last three matchups, Atchison has scored or assisted on 16 of the 60 Hanover scores, while shooting 50 percent or above from the field and 75 percent or better on goal.
HITTING THE MARK: Juniors Kinna Laymon (Fishers, Ind.) and Emma Boomershine (Louisville, Ky.) have been the top two goal scorers for HC most of the year, with points often coming in the bunches. Laymon has 62 points on 51 goals and 11 assists, with her points mark tying the program record set by Mallory Fogus in the 2018 campaign. Among her league rivals, her point total sits fifth, while her goals mark ranks third. She has nine points over her last two outings, with four coming at the hands of MSJ; for the contest, Laymon found the net twice, dished two helpers, scooped three groundballs, and caused four turnovers.
For Boomershine, she has a career-high 37 points on 34 scores and a trio of dimes at a .493 shot percentage. Boomershine's shooting clip is one of the best in the HCLC, as it ranks eighth for players with 10-plus shots this season. Following a career and Panther-best eight goals versus the Lions on April 20, Boomershine hit two of her four attempts against the Ravens while acquiring one groundball. Over the previous three meetings, Boomershine has shot 50 percent, with a 75 percent efficiency in shots on goal.
SCOUTING EARLHAM: The Earlham Quakers are 11-5 in 2019 with a 5-1 slate in the HCLC. The Quakers ended their year by claiming victories in five out of their final six matchups, with the final one coming at the hands of Thomas More. Earlham handed Hanover a 9-8 loss on March 18, when they completed a second half comeback to thwart a 6-3 first half lead for the Panthers. Boomershine, Laymon and junior Meg Finn (Newburgh, Ind.) all scored multiple goals in the contest.
Contact: Tyler Jester