HANOVER, Ind. – Sophomore Ethan Miller (Breaux Bridge, La.) headed in a free kick in the 84th minute sending the Hanover men's soccer team past Manchester in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals Tuesday afternoon, 1-0.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 12-6-0 on the season and advance to the HCAC Tournament Finals, which they will host this weekend. The Spartans conclude their season at 8-10-1 overall.
Hanover, which won its first ever outright HCAC regular season championship this fall, finished the match with a 16-9 edge in shots, including a 9-5 advantage in the second half. The Blue and Red also had the more quality looks, as shots on goal favored HC 9-1.
A scoreless first half featured seven total shots by the Panthers, including five that required a save by the Spartans' netminder. Manchester had five total shots in the first half, but none came on goal, leaving the first postseason match of the fall in a 0-0, halftime stalemate.
Senior Tanner Korfhagen (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Patrick Rowe (Terre Haute, Ind.) each had shots on goal early in the second half but both Panther players were denied. In the 77th minute, sophomore Will Bedel (Walton, Ky.) made his lone save of the match. Bedel notched his sixth clean sheet of the season, tying a career best mark for solo shutouts.
A little less than one minute after Bedel's save, Hanover was on the offensive attack again. Sophomore Josh Hughes (Lafayette, La.) snuck in behind the Spartan defense and volleyed in a kick from the left flank for what appeared to be the game's first goal. Unfortunately, the side referee's flag went up and the goal was null due to an offsides call.
Hanover continued to pressure though, as freshman Evan Redmon's (Louisville, Ky.) free kick found Miller's head at the 83:17 mark, sending the Panther players and home fans into jubilation. Miller's goal was the first of his collegiate career.
The duo of Hughes and Korfhagen would lead the Panthers in shot attempts, tallying five and four, respectively. Hughes was also the lone Panther that had multiple tries on goal with three.
Hanover will seek its second HCAC Tournament championship in three years when they host either Transylvania or Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Nov. 3. The finals' match is currently slated for a 2 p.m. start at the Panther Athletic Complex.
Contact: Tyler Jester