Panthers look to keep pace with two home HCAC matches

Four seniors in portrait image

Written by Sports Information Student Assistant, Jake Sipes-Salter

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's soccer team will look to keep pace atop the HCAC as they take on Earlham and Defiance at home this week.

The Panthers will host Earlham at 3:30 p.m. this Wednesday, October 18, before welcoming Defiance (Ohio) for Senior Day at 1 p.m. this Saturday, October 21.

This past Saturday, the Panthers beat Bluffton 2-0 behind two second-half goals. At 68:36, freshman Sydney Mattingly (Louisville, Ky.) put the first points on the board with an assist from junior Shannon Hawkins (Carmel, Ind.). Eight and a half minutes later, sophomore Maisyn Garland (Rochester, Ill.) connected on her fifth goal on the season with an assist from sophomore Brandi Brock (Cincinnati, Ohio).

With their victory, Hanover improved to 10-3-0 overall. The Panthers' 4-1-0 record in the HCAC puts them in a three-way tie with Franklin and Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) for the conference top spot. Overall, the top six teams in the HCAC standings are separated by a mere three points with two weeks to play in the regular season.

For the season, Garland leads the team in goals and points, with 5 and 10 respectively. Brock and junior Cassidy Evanson (Carmel, Ind.) lead the Panthers with three assists apiece.

Freshman goalkeeper Charlotte Verbanic (Columbus, Ind.) has recorded an impressive season as a goalkeeper. In her four starts, Verbanic is yet to surrender a goal and has made ten saves, with two of them coming against Bluffton.

For her efforts in the team's two shutouts last week, Verbanic was named HCAC Defensive Player of the Week. The award was the first weekly conference accolade of her young collegiate career.

Hanover's first opponent, Earlham, comes in with 6-8-0 overall and 2-3-0 HCAC records. In their most recent action, Earlham lost to Anderson, 3-0. Chloe Lamenzo at least shares the Quakers' lead in goals, assists and points.

In their most recent head-to-head matchup, the Panthers won the game 7-0, where five of the seven goals came in the second half. Hanover has won four straight games against Earlham dating back to the 2013-14 season. During their streak, the Panthers have outscored Earlham 23-1. 

Hanover's Saturday opponent, Defiance, is currently 1-11-0 overall and enters the week with a 0-5-0 conference mark. In their most recent match, Defiance lost to Rose-Hulman, 3-0.

Defiance has lost nine straight against the Panthers, dating back to the 2008-09 season. In their head-to-head faceoff last season, Hanover routed Defiance, 10-0, which saw the Panthers score all 10 of their goals in the first 63 minutes.

Contact: Tyler Jester