BEARING DOWN: Hanover College freshman Chandler Turner (above, 20) fires a shot into the Franklin goal past defenders Rachel Lucas (6), Natalie Scott (9), Allie Amato (7) and goalkeeper Christa Hendrickson during Tuesday’s match at home. The Panthers’ Anna Cornacchione (below, 5) and Rebecca Tumlin embrace after Tumlin’s goal as Franklin’s Hayley Kemp walks away. Hanover rolled to a 6-1 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
BEARING DOWN: Hanover College freshman Chandler Turner (above, 20) fires a shot into the Franklin goal past defenders Rachel Lucas (6), Natalie Scott (9), Allie Amato (7) and goalkeeper Christa Hendrickson during Tuesday’s match at home. The Panthers’ Anna Cornacchione (below, 5) and Rebecca Tumlin embrace after Tumlin’s goal as Franklin’s Hayley Kemp walks away. Hanover rolled to a 6-1 win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Hanover spotted arch-nemesis Franklin an early goal then reeled off six-straight to roll to a 6-1 win in women's soccer Tuesday at home.

The Panthers, who clinched a home game in next week's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with the win, got scores from six different players in rolling to their biggest win over Franklin in four seasons.

"When you play Franklin you can usually throw out the records and we anticipated this being a really big test for us," Hanover coach Jim Watts said. "We did give up an early goal and kind of got slapped in the face, but we responded really, really well. I'm really proud of our effort."

Hanover, which is ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region, found itself down 1-0 to a team it had beaten 15-straight times coming into Tuesday's match.

Natalie Scott got the Grizzlies on the board 13 minutes into the game when she took a pass from Brandy Ramaj and fired a shot into the right corner past Hanover keeper Morgan Cole.

It proved to be Franklin's lone highlight of the match and the Grizzlies (8-9; 2-6 HCAC) managed just three more shots as Hanover took command and turned the game into a rout.

It took just eight minutes for the Panthers to pick up the equalizer. Rachel Avis, a sophomore forward from Cincinnati, converted a pass from Elaine Simpson into the left corner of the net for her fourth goal of the season.

The Panthers grabbed the lead when freshman Chandler Turner had back-to-back attempts midway through the 27th minute, eventually deflecting her first shot into the net.

Hanover's lead climbed to 3-1 in the 31st minute when freshman Rebecca Tumlin planted a cross from Anna Cornacchione into the net for her second goal of the season.

The Panthers weren't done. Simpson punched her fifth goal of the season into the net from just inside the six-yard box after taking a pass from junior Erin Hancock in the 57th minute and Cornacchione nudged the margin to 5-1 in the 59th minute with a blast across the 18-yard box into the right corner. The goal was Cornacchione's team-leading 10th of the season.

Watts began liberally substituting after that but it didn't stop the Hanover onslaught. Sophomore Autry Graham capped Hanover's scoring early in the 80th minute when she converted a cross from senior Chloe Hutchinson into the net for her third goal of the season.

The Panthers held a dominating 29-4 advantage in shots, including a 15-1 margin in the second half. The squad had 17 shots on goal, while Franklin tallied three.

"Hopefully we're peaking at the right time. We've been playing our best soccer over the past three weeks," Watts said. "I think there are some small things that we can fix come conference tournament time."

Cole and backup Karlee VanDerWeele had one save each in goal for the Panthers. Christa Hendrickson stopped six shots and Kelsie Williams had five saves for Hanover.

The victory improved Hanover's record to 14-1-2 on the season, including 7-0-1 in HCAC play. More importantly, it clinched at least the number two seed in next week's four-team conference tournament and the right to host at least one home game.

Of course, Hanover would love to have the number one overall seed and get a chance to play the entire tournament on its home field. The last time the Panthers earned a berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament, they got to play the tourney at home.

"Getting the tournament here is the key. I'm not looking forward to going to Manchester in mid-November for a game," Watts said with a smile. "We play a lot better at home."

Hanover hosts Defiance (Ohio) in its final regular-season match on Saturday. The Panthers hold a one-game lead on Manchester for the top spot in the HCAC standings.