Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover women's lacrosse team will look to secure its first ever conference championship this weekend when they travel for a clash with Transylvania (Ky.).
The Panthers will play the Pioneers at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 4, with the winner securing the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference crown and an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
IN THE OPENING ROUND: The Blue and Red advanced to the HCLC Tournament finals with a 16-4 victory over Earlham (Ind.) on May 1. After losing a 9-8 heartbreaker to the Quakers earlier in the year, HC got its revenge behind seven goals from junior Emma Boomershine (Louisville, Ky.). The squad took an early 1-0 deficit before senior Hannah Mundt (Prospect, Ky.) rifled off the first of five consecutive Panther scores, aiding them to a 5-3 halftime edge. Coming out of the break, Hanover went on an eight goal run to secure their first foray into the league finals.
THE HOT HANDS: Boomershine has had multiple goals in five of her last six appearances, with two performances of seven or more in her last three. On April 27 against Anderson (Ind.), she posted a program record by hitting the back of the net on eight occasions. Over these five outings, Boomershine has shot over 50 percent, with her best clip coming in the semifinals against the Quakers. For the contest, Boomershine shot seven-for-nine for a .778 shooting efficiency. On the season, she has 41 scores and three assists for 44 points on a .526 shot percentage. Amongst her league rivals, Boomershine ranks in the top 10 in goals scored and shot percentage.
Senior Rachel Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) has notched four-plus points in each of Hanover's past four games, with one score and three dimes against Earlham. Her best statline of the stretch was versus Thomas More (Ky.) on April 13, when she totaled eight points on a pair of goals to go along with six helpers. During this run, Davis has shot at or above 50 percent on goal in three of four, helping her to a collegiate-high .720 shot on goal percentage in 2019. For the year, Davis has 24 goals and 33 assists for 57 points, with her assist total ranking second in the HCLC.
Junior Laurel Atchison (Florence, Ky.) has five multi-point showings in the Panthers' last six, with two or more scores in four of those. Atchison contributed a goal and an assist against Earlham, and notched a career-high seven points against Anderson on April 27. In total, Atchison has tallied 17 scores and 19 dimes for 36 points on the year at a .654 shooting clip. Among players with 10 or more shots, Atchison paces the conference, and in every outing that she has registered a shot attempt, she has hit over 50 percent of her tries.
BACKSTOPPING THIS UNIT: Junior Julia Long (Cincinnati, Ohio) made eight saves in the HCLC Semifinals and has allowed just nine goals over the Blue and Red's previous three matchups. In the trio, Long had a .667 save percentage or higher in each appearance. Versus Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) on April 20, Long made eight stops and co-led the team with five groundballs. Long has been one of the best in the league in save percentage and groundball collection, as she leads the HCLC with a .520 save percentage and slots third with 60 groundballs, over 20 more than the next closest netminder. Additionally, Long sits second in the league with 140 saves and is third in goal against average at a 9.53 per game clip.
Senior Hannah Mundt (Prospect, Ky.) is currently second for Hanover with 20 caused turnovers and is tied for runner-up in groundballs with 43. Over her past four, Mundt has scored six points, corralled 21 grounders and forced 13 giveaways. Mundt is coming off of two straight HCLC Defensive Player of the Week awards, most recently garnering the honor for a seven groundball, five caused turnover statline against the Ravens on April 27. In both categories, Mundt notched single-game career highs.
SCOUTING TRANSYLVANIA: The Transylvania Pioneers are 14-4 on the season with a 6-0 mark in the HCLC. The Pioneers gained a 21-4 victory over HC on April 10, bolstered by two first half scoring runs. Sophomore Courtney Pontious leads Transylvania with 89 points. The Pioneers are coming off of their first conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018, after having fallen to St. Vincent (Pa.) in the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference semifinals each of the previous three years.
Contact: Tyler Jester