THUNDER DECLAW PANTHERS BEHIND BALANCED EFFORT

by Sports Information Student Assistant Zach Bigger

HANOVER, Ind. - The Trine University men’s lacrosse team (7-4, 4-2 Midwest Lacrosse Conference), playing their third straight game on the road, took down Hanover College (4-10, 1-7 Midwest Lacrosse Conference)  11-5; a far cry from last year’s 29-0 drumming. After a 90-minute rain delay before the start of the game, Hanover was competitive, and was able to hang around for three quarters but could not close the gap to take the lead.

Trine opened the scoring with a goal from senior midfielder Eric Thompson (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) on a strike from the top center of the box with a little more than two minutes gone in the contest. Junior Dalton Madsen (Westminster, Colo./Northglenn) on the next offensive possession dodged from behind the net, wrapping around the left pipe of the goal, and dumped it in leading to a 2-0 lead with 12:06 in the first quarter.

A Trine turnover resulted in a fast break opportunity for Hanover, and the Thunder defense could not rotate fast enough to compensate for the break, giving up a goal to make the score 2-1 with 3:49 left in the first. The Thunder would close the first quarter with another Madsen score, catching a quick feed while cutting across the cage and making a spectacular play, blowing by his defender to score before time expired in the first.

The second quarter began with Hanover getting a goal off after a broken Trine transition. The Thunder would respond with freshman midfielder Adam Martin’s (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) goal with 10:20 left in the quarter to extend the lead back to two.

The Thunder would then swap goals with Hanover capitalizing once again on a communication breakdown of the defense; Trine with Eric Thompson’s zigzagging his way down the field and through an ill prepared Panther defense to restore the margin to two, with 2:12 left in the first half. Martin then scored once more off a Madsen feed from the top left side of the box for the Thunder to be able to take a 6-3 lead into intermission.

The Trine defense gave up a quick score less than one minute into the second half.

Somehow, someway though, the Thunder managed to keep the lead as Madsen scored for the third time with a little more than two minutes into the third quarter. Trine, after both sides trading man-up opportunities, managed to take advantage of one of Hanover’s broken clear opportunities. Freshman Patrick Walker (Round Lake Park, Ill./Grayslake) stole the ball from the Hanover goalie and hit a fade-away shot that nestled itself just below the top left shelf with nine minutes left in the third quarter.

The Thunder began to pull away, with Trine senior midfielder Blaine Stahley (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) scoring his only goal of the day off a catch and feed up the wing from Madsen to finish off a 4-0 run for the Thunder in a span of less than eight minutes.

Hanover would score their final goal of the contest with 5:15 remaining in the third. The Panthers woes came primarily in clearing and being able to control the ball, as they finished 13-for-21. Unable to possess and control the tempo, Trine managed to put what could have been a close game out of reach thanks to going 21-for-23 on clearing the ball for the game. The Thunder closed their scoring with a man-up goal by senior Andy Lauer (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) midway through the fourth, and a Walker goal with a about four minutes left in the contest.

The Thunder had a balanced scoring effort, as four different players each had at least two goals, led by Madsen’s three goal, two assist effort.

Goalie Alex Gregg (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) played at way to an 11 save effort.

Trine finished 1-for-4 on man-up opportunities; Hanover was 0-for-1.

The Thunder faces their biggest test of the season on senior night on April 18 at 7 p.m., facing off at home for the first time against conference power Adrian. Trine is seeking their first victory over the Bulldogs in the school’s history of the program.