Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter
HANOVER, Ind. - After a 2019 season that brought the program's first berth into their league's conference tournament championship, the Hanover women's lacrosse team garnered a second-place selection in the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference preseason poll.
Transylvania slotted first with 36 points, which includes all six of the first-place votes. Hanover came in with 29 points, followed by Earlham at 25 points. Anderson (14), Mount St. Joseph (12) and Franklin (10) rounded out the voting.
Under fourth-year head coach Brandon Allwood, the Blue and Red garnered an 8-9 overall record in 2019, with a 5-3 slate in the HCLC including the playoffs. When hosting league rivals at Alumni Stadium, HC went 3-1, with their lone defeat coming at the hands of the eventual conference champion, Transylvania. That collection of HCLC matchups at home, which came in a string between April 10 and April 27, included their campaign-best three game win streak that concluded the regular season.
Out of the five members of the squad that garnered HCLC honors, just two of them will be returning. However, one of those women is senior Kinna Laymon (Fishers, Ind.), who led Hanover in scoring last season with 51 goals and 62 points. Her totals both proved to be collegiate-bests, helping her to become the third player in program history to score 100-plus points, joining Mallory Fogus and Rachel Davis. In addition, her play earned her a spot on the HCLC First Team.
The lone second teamer named last year was senior Julia Long (Cincinnati, Ohio), who earned the starting spot in the net following the graduation of Amanda Mousa in 2018. In her first year as a full-time netminder, Long helped HC to a .524 team save percentage, which ranked 22nd in NCAA Division III women's lacrosse. In her own right, Long had a .511 save percentage with 143 total stops. Moreover, her 60 groundballs put her third in the conference and first amongst HCLC goalies by a significant margin.
Despite losing three of five HCLC honorees, four of the Blue and Red's top five scorers return for the 2020 campaign. Among them is the 2019 Christopher M. Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship recipient, senior Laurel Atchison (Florence, Ky.). Atchison provided heavily as a distributor, ranking second on the team with 19 assists, which helped vault her to 36 total points. Her totals in goals, assists, and points were all career-highs. In addition, her .654 shot percentage led the conference amongst players with 10-plus shot attempts.
The HCLC recognized five players from each institution as "Players to Watch" in 2020, with the senior trio of Emma Boomershine (Louisville, Ky.), Tayia Davis (Fishers, Ind.), and Meg Finn (Newburgh, Ind.) appearing alongside Laymon and Long. Boomershine finished her year with 44 points, which included 41 goals. Highlighting the campaign was on April 20 against Mount St. Joseph, when Boomershine broke the program record for goals in a game by hitting the back of the net eight times. At season's end, Boomershine had a shot percentage of .526 with a .782 shots on goal mark.
On the defensive side of the ball, Davis racked up 19 groundballs in 2019, pushing her career total to 55. She had eight caused turnovers in addition, giving her 17 over the past two years. Perhaps her best outing of 2019 came against Trine (Ind.) on March 20, when she hauled in six groundballs and forced a pair of errors.
Finn finished her 2019 campaign with 25 points off of 16 goals and nine dimes. In a stretch of 10 contests last year, Finn scored one or more points nine times, including one of her best performances against Franklin on April 6. Finn scored four points on one goal and a trio of assists, while winning a season-high 10 draw controls.
Hanover is set to open their season on the road against Butler (Ind.), with action slated for 1 p.m., Saturday, February 15.
2020 Women's HCLC Preseason Poll
|Rank||Institution||Pts. (1st Votes)|
|5.||Mt. St. Joseph||12|