Offense continues to roll during Panthers' fifth straight win

Maggie Day

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Scoring three or more goals for the third consecutive match, the Hanover women's soccer team picked up a 3-1 decision at Wittenberg (Ohio) Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (5-1-0), who have now won five straight appearances, received three goals from three different players, as well as five assists by five different players. Hanover also enjoyed a 26-6 edge in shots, led by freshman Maggie Day (Sellersburg, Ind.), who scored her first collegiate goal in the contest. Overall, seven different HC players tallied multiple shot attempts in the match.

After Wittenberg (2-3-1) had the opening shot of the match go wide less than one minute in, Hanover responded with the next five, with one finding the back of the net. Junior Abby Howes (Terre Haute, Ind.) picked up her first goal of the season, giving HC a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Freshman Anna Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) played a ball into the right corner and her classmate, Autumn Boothby (Mount Orab, Ohio) beat the Tigers' goalkeeper to the ball, leaving her with a cross to Howes with an empty net in front of her.

With the sun beating down on the artificial turf, the match went into a water break a little over 20 minutes into play. After the brief break, the Tigers tied the contest at one-all in the 22nd minute.

Less than seven minutes later though, HC took advantage of a set piece to go back in front, 2-1. Freshman Ruby Kate Gray (Lexington, Ky.) placed her corner kick into a congested six-yard box, with senior Claire Stockwell (Burlington, Ky.) getting a piece of the ball before junior Maisyn Garland (Rochester, Ill.) capitalized on the chaotic moment.  

Just as it appeared Hanover would take a one-goal lead into halftime, Day gave the Panthers a two-score advantage in the 43rd minute. Freshman Olivia Shakun (Evansville, Ind.) played a ball from the right corner, past the Wittenberg goalkeeper, as Day's diving shot found the back-right corner of the empty net.

The Blue and Red continued to apply offensive pressure in the second half, outshooting the Tigers 12-2 over the final 45 minutes. Despite the efforts, HC was held scoreless in the second stanza, but the Panther defense matched Witt's in a scoreless half.

Hanover recorded five assists for the first time since a 6-1 win over Defiance on Oct. 21, 2017. The Panthers posted a combined nine helpers in their two wins this week, which included a 4-0 decision at St. Mary's (Ind.) on Tuesday.

Hanover will return to the pitch Wednesday, Sept. 19, with a trip to Splading (Ky.). The Panthers and Golden Eagles are slated for a 6 p.m. start.

Contact: Tyler Jester