HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's soccer team dominated the second half with a three-goal outburst as they defeated Franklin at home Tuesday afternoon to advance to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Final.
The Panthers improved to 11-5-2 overall with the conference Tournament Semifinal victory. The Tournament Final is set for Saturday, Nov. 9 with the Panthers taking on the winner of Rose-Hulman and Mt. St. Joseph.
The two teams played a competitive first half with neither team really able to gain an edge before Franklin looked to capitalize on a penalty kick that missed just left of frame in the 26th minute.
The Blue and Red attempted to play fast and catch the Grizzlies off guard on a free kick minutes later that was intercepted before reaching striking distance.
Senior Abby Howes (Terre Haute, Ind.) got the Panthers best look of the first half in the 40th minute as she played a corner kick from freshman Josie Dattilo (Montogomery, Ohio) that was deflected by the Franklin goalkeeper.
Hanover entered the break with eight shots, three of which were on frame.
The Blue and Red pressured the frame early in the second half as senior Brandi Brock (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore Bryn Rolfsen (Loveland, Ohio) fired off short range shots that were stifled by the Franklin defense.
The Panthers delivered the game winning strike in the 57th minute as a Franklin miscue in the 18-yard box set up the penalty kick for the Blue and Red.
Rolfsen got the nod, taking her first penalty kick of the year and delivering for the 1-0 advantage.
However, the Panthers weren't done as sophomore Ruby Kate Gray (Lexington, Ky.) provided an insurance goal in the 82nd minute following a corner kick by Brock, 2-0.
The Blue and Red pelted the frame in the second half tallying 14 shots to finish with a game-high 22, including a dangerous blow by junior Sydney Mattingly (Louisville, Ky.) in the 78th minute that struck the crossbar.