RICHMOND, Ind. – Junior Emma Boomershine (Louisville, Ky.) scored seven times and classmate Julia Long (Cincinnati, Ohio) added eight saves as the Hanover women's lacrosse team cruised in the program's first-ever conference tournament victory, a 16-4 triumph at Earlham Wednesday evening.
The third-seeded Panthers (8-8), who are making their third straight appearance in conference postseason play, will now be heading to their first championship game. Hanover avenged a 9-8 loss in the regular season to the second-seeded Quakers (11-6) thanks to a pair of scoring runs in the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Semifinal Wednesday night.
After conceding the opening goal, the Blue and Red rattled off five unanswered scores, capped by back-to-back goals from Boomershine, to go in front 5-1. Long made four first half saves, while senior Hannah Mundt (Prospect, Ky.), junior Sarah Todd (Columbus, Ohio) and freshman Milah Young (Granger, Ind.) each found the back of the net to give HC a 5-3 lead at the intermission.
Hanover was in a similar situation in the regular season, leading 6-3 at the break before being outscored by EC 6-2 in the second half. Wednesday's postseason game was different though, as the Panthers scored the second stanza's first eight goals to take a commanding 13-3 lead with just over 10 minutes left to play.
The Blue and Red scored off a free position attempt on its first four goals of the half, including shots from Boomershine, Todd and Young. Junior Laurel Atchison (Florence, Ky.) scored off a pass by senior Rachel Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.), who was set up for a free position attempt. Davis and freshman Emily Christian (Louisville, Ky.) tallied goals during the half-opening run as well.
The Quakers tacked on three scores to their total but Boomershine then found the back of the net twice and senior Tayia Davis (Fishers, Ind.) scored to make the final count 16-4. Long added four second half saves before freshman Delaney Benner (Indianapolis, Ind.) relieved her late.
Hanover finished with a 29-17 advantage in total shots, including a 24-12 edge on goal. Boomershine had eight of her nine shots on the cage to pace the attack. The junior has scored seven-plus goals in two of her last three outings.
Rachel Davis followed Boomershine in total points with four, tallying one goal and three assists. Todd and Young each added multiple goals. Freshman Dianet Sanchez-Vega (Louisville, Ky.) picked up an assist in each half as well.
The Panthers were also 3-for-4 on free position shots. Earlham, thanks to the efforts of Long, was held to a 2-for-12 performance on free position shots.
Hanover will look to continue its history-making run when the team travels to face Transylvania in the HCLC Tournament championship Saturday, May 4. The Panthers and Pioneers will follow the men's championship game, also featuring HC and TU, with an approximate 4 p.m. start.
Contact: Tyler Jester