Hanover’s Brynn Durecki (18, above), Amber Miller (19) and Emma Rolf (20) converge on the ball during Saturday’s match at home against Anderson. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Hanover’s Brynn Durecki (18, above), Amber Miller (19) and Emma Rolf (20) converge on the ball during Saturday’s match at home against Anderson. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Hanover men’s soccer closed out the regular season with a 2-0 win at Defiance on Saturday to wrap up the program’s second-straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.

The Panthers scored what proved to be the winning goal just eight minutes into the contest when Carlos Schryver, a sophomore from Sao Paulo, Brazil, connected off an assist by Josh Hughes for a 1-0 lead.

Luke Eppler, a sophomore from Evansville, then provided the insurance goal in the 82nd minute off another Hughes assist.

Hanover out-shot Defiance 22-11 in the match, but just 9-7 on goal. Keeper Will Bedel, a junior from Walton, Kentucky, stopped seven shots for the Panthers to record the shutout.

Hanover (11-5-1) closed the regular season with eight-straight wins ato tie Rose-Hulman atop the HCAC standings at 8-1. The No. 1 seed, thanks to a head-to-head win over Rose, the Panthers now host Manchester in the tournament semifinals on Wednesday at 2 p.m. A win would allow the Panthers to host either Rose or Transylvania in the championship on Saturday.

Defense leads football 27-3 at Mount St. Joseph

Hanover football faced the tall task of battling one of the nation’s best offenses but defense prevailed in a major way as the Panthers dominated host Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) 27-3 on Saturday afternoon to remain unbeaten in HCAC play.

Mount (6-2, 4-2 HCAC) entered the game averaging more than 430 yards of total offense, including a nationally-ranked air attack steered by quarterback Chaiten Tomlin, who ranks in the Top 20 in both passing yards and touchdowns. For 60 minutes, the Panthers never allowed Tomlin or the Mount offense a chance to shine.

Hanover’s defense limited the Lions to its lowest point total of the season and did so by allowing just 281 yards of total offense including only 11 yards on the ground. Tomlin, who has thrown for more than 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns, was held without a score and finished the day at 19-of-34 passing for 277 yards. And as the Panthers stood tall with their defensive game plan, the offense followed suit.

Shawn Coane ran up the middle on Hanover’s first drive of the game for a two-yard score that was followed by Austin Steurer’s extra point but the 7-0 lead was temporarily broken up on Mount’s lone score of the day, a 23-yard field goal by Spencer Dufresne.

The Panthers responded on the ensuing drive however, this time going to the air. Noah Wezensky lofted a 34-yard pass that found Taylor Blestein in the end zone and Hanover led 13-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Wezensky and Coane each added another touchdown for Hanover’s final two scores of the game. Wezensky hit Jared Frank on a 37-yard pass and Steurer’s second extra point gave the Panthers a 20-3 lead at halftime and Coane busted through the middle again in the fourth quarter, this time from three yards out, and Steurer again connected on an extra point.

Coane finished the day with 22 carries for 160 yards and two touchdowns while Walt Ballinger added 65 yards on 13 carries. Wezensky’s two touchdown passes paired with a 18-of-26 passing day for 225 yards, with his top target Frank having four catches for 85 yards and a score.

Defensively, Hanover had 12 tackles for a loss which included seven sacks, the most the Lions have allowed all season. Chase Cope had seven tackles which included a sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Devonte Hardiman led with 2.5 sacks and Dakota Manion had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss. Kyle Treber had six tackles and forced a fumble in the first half.

Cornell Beachem Jr. led the Lion offense with 77 yards on 18 carries while also bringing down five catches for 75 yards. Chase Pankey led all receivers with seven catches and 125 yards.

Hanover (7-1, 5-0 HCAC) can clinch the HCAC title outright and claim the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs next Saturday at Rose-Hulman. The Fightin’ Engineers are currently second in the HCAC with a 5-1 mark and a 6-2 overall record.

Soccer women crush Defiance 9-0

Hanover women’s soccer cruised past Defiance 9-0 on Saturday to clinch the No. 2 seed in this week’s HCAC Tournament.

The Panthers, who finished the regular season with a 10-5-2 overall record and 7-1-1 mark in the HCAC, outshot Defiance 26-5 overall and 23-4 on goal. The Panthers also had 10 corner kick chances to four by the Yellow Jackets.

Ruby Kate Gray, a sophomore from Lexington, Kentucky, and Autumn Boothby, a sophomore from Mount Orab, Ohio, each scored two goals to lead the Panthers while Josie Dattilo, Anna Smith, Kelsey Hughes, Maggie Day and Natalie Fausz had one each. Kayla Nowlin, Boothby, Olivia Shakun and Day each had assists.

Emma Debolt, a senior from West Chester, Ohio, played 30 minutes in goal without a save for the Panthers and was awarded the win, her first of the season. Amanda Carmosino and Katie Perry each also spent time in goal with Carmosino stopping three shots and Perry one.

Hanover will host No. 3 seed Franklin in the HCAC semifinals at 2 p.m. Tuesday with Mount St. Joseph traveling to Rose-Hulman in the other match. The championship will be on Saturday at the highest remaining seed.

Volleyball sweeps two in HCAC

Hanover College volleyball clinched the second seed in this week’s HCAC tournament with a pair of wins at home this weekend.

The Panthers swept Manchester 25-20, 27-25, 25-23 on Friday then posted a four-set win over Anderson, 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20 on Saturday.

In the win over Manchester, Carlie Burson, a senior from Corydon, had eight kills on 13-of-16 hitting while Emma Rolf, a sophomore from Lebanon, had six kills on 24-of-29 hitting. Adrianne Vance, a freshman from Indianapolis, had six kills while Kelsey Ketcham, a sophomore from Mishawaka, had 21 assists and five kills. Ally Williams, a senior from Fountaintown, had 11 digs.

Against Anderson, Vance had 14 kills and six digs, Rolf had 13 kills and four digs, Maura Dankoski, a sophomore from Fishers, had 10 kills, Ketcham had 40 assists, and Williams had 20 digs.

Hanover wraps up the regular season with an 18-10 overall record and 6-2 in the HCAC. The Panthers will face the winner between Defiance and Rose-Hulman in the tournament semifinals Saturday at Transylvania.

Harriers run 2nd, 4th at HCAC

Hanover’s women placed second and the men finished fourth at the HCAC Cross Country Championships Sunday in Terre Haute.

The Hanover women scored 45 points, led by Arig Tong’s runner-up finish in 23:13. Brianna Medcalf was fourth in 24:14, Caitlyn Naghdi was sixth in 24:30, Sawyer Osmun was 14th in 25:36 and Ariel Barlow was 19th in 25:50. Tong, Medcalf, Naghdi and Osmun were each named all-HCAC with their finishes while Barlow was an honorable mention selection.

Maddie McHugh was 29th in 26:36 and Ashley Senerius was 46th in 28:13 to round out Hanover’s scoring.

Manchester won the team title with 27 points.

Hayden Veach led the men with a second-place finish in 26:51 to earn all-conference honors as Hanover finished fourth as a team with 117 points. Manchester won the race with 46 points.

Cooper Hanson was 22nd in 28:20 for Hanover, Michael Taylor was 24th in 28:36, Andy Vilardo was 31st in 28:59, Andrew Clegg was 38th in 29:43 and Robert Hoegeman was 48th in 31:32.

Hanover’s next meet will be the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional at Calvin (Mich.) College on Saturday, Nov. 16.