HANOVER, Ind. – Post-season play kicked off on Tuesday (Nov. 5) afternoon with third-seeded Franklin taking on second-seeded Hanover with a spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) title game up for grabs.
After one evenly-played half, the Grizzlies (7-12-1) fell victim to a trio of Panther (11-5-2) goals in the second half with Hanover taking the match by a 3-0 final and remaining the only team to best Franklin in conference tournament action.
Franklin controlled the offensive action in the game's opening 15 minutes, recording three attempts early on. Lilly Haines had the best look in the game's infancy, but her free kick attempt from just outside the 18-yard box was turned aside. Elaina Page had a pair of looks in the same time frame, but each sailed wide of the Hanover net.
Later in the half, Jalynn Gorman was hauled down in the box and awarded a penalty kick that ultimately went just wide of the left post. That miss seemed to galvanize the Panthers, who attempted the final seven shots of the opening half. But Lexi Short kept the hosts off the board, stopping all three shots on goal over the final 18 minutes to keep things scoreless.
Hanover came out of the break firing, putting three shots on target in the opening seven minutes of the half that Short was able to stop. In the 57th minute, Hanover was awarded a penalty kick of their own after an FC foul in the 18 that Bryn Rolfsen cashed in on for a 1-0 Panther lead.
Haines nearly equalized two minutes after the opening goal but her attempt from just outside the box narrowly sailed over the crossbar. Hannah Warstler had a look at the tying goal in the 79th minute, but her rising shot found the hands of Hanover keeper Amanda Carmosino. The Panthers built on their lead with two goals in the final 10 minutes, punching their ticket to the conference title match.
In her final career match, Short finished the day with day saves, making six in the second half alone. The Avon, Ind.-native closes out her career as the program's all-time leader in wins (40), save percentage (.802) and shutouts (26). Gorman and Taylor McDaniel also played in their final match, and both end their illustrious playing careers in the career top-10 list for most career points. Gorman's 17 goals and 43 points rank sixth all-time while McDaniel is fifth all-time in goals (18), second in assists (23) and fourth in points (59).