Cornacchione goals clinch HCAC crown, NCAA bid

Two spectacular goals from freshman forward Anna Cornacchione (Cincinnati, Ohio) proved the difference as the Hanover College women's soccer team won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, defeating Transylvania University (Ky.), 2-1.

With the win, the Panthers secure an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III national tournament, while also raising their school-record victory total to 17.

The two teams appeared evenly matched early in the game, as the squads traded shots with both taking five in the first period.

With the game tied 0-0 midway through the first period (27:35), Cornacchione out-sprinted a Transylvania defender at midfield, dribbled past several others in the backfield, and placed a shot in the lower left corner to give Hanover a 1-0 lead.

Just eight minutes into the second half, Cornacchione brought the Panther crowd to their feet with a impressive crossing goal. 

Cornacchione received a Rachel Alvis (Cincinnati, Ohio) pass, dribbled in from the left corner and bent the shot over the keeper’s hand into the upper-right corner from 30 yards out.

Cornacchione was named tournament's most valuable player for her efforts.

The two-goal margin failed to dissuade the Pioneers, as they cut the lead midway through the second period. Alyssa Kruse headed a Carly Williams cross into the net from the six yard box at the 70:54 mark to slice Hanover's lead in half.

Transylvania threatened again three minutes later, but the Panthers' defense held as sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Cole (Mason, Ohio) collected one of her game-high four saves.

The Pioneers never came within shooting range in the remainder of the match and the Panthers secured their second Heartland Conference title in four years.

Hanover had a 10-9 advantage in shots, while Transylvania held a 5-4 edge in shots on goal.

Hanover improves to 17-1-2, while Transylvania falls to 14-4-1.

Hanover vs. Transylvania (Ky.) statistics