Eldridge, Roberts highlight five on HCAC team

Freshman midfielder Matthew Eldridge (Louisville, Ky.) and junior back Drew Roberts (Goshen, Ky.) lead five members of Hanover College’s men’s soccer squad who have received post-season honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Eldridge has been tabbed the Heartland Conference’s freshman of the year and is joined on the league’s first team by Roberts.

Senior forward John Wittich (West Chester, Ohio) has earned second-team honors, while sophomore back Jacob Thomsen (Holte, Denmark) received honorable mention.

Junior midfielder Matthew Grau (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been named to the HCAC’s all-sportsmanship team for the third straight year.

Eldridge led Hanover with 15 points, including a team-high seven goals and an assist. He was sixth in the conference with 2.89 shots per game, seventh with seven goals and 10th in the league in scoring.

Roberts started all 20 matches in the backfield and keyed the Panthers’ defense, which posted eight shutouts and allowed 1.2 goals per match.

Wittich, a two-time all-HCAC selection, was second on Hanover’s team with 14 points. He scored five goals and had a team-best four assists.

He led Hanover with 54 shots and 19 shots on goal. He ranked seventh in the conference with 2.85 shots per outing.

Thomsen netted two goals in his first season as a full-time starter.

Grau, a two-time all-league honoree, scored three game-winning goals during the season.

Hanover finished the 2013 season with a 10-8-2 record, including a 6-2-1 mark and third-place finish in the Heartland Conference. The Panthers set school records for overall and league wins and also had a school-record six-match winning streak.

Hanover had previously posted nine wins in a season two times. The Panthers finished 9-7-1 overall in 2001 and were 9-9-1 in 2002.

The program notched five league wins in 2006 (5-2-1), 2008 (5-3) and 2009 (5-3).