Cornacchione leads all-league selections

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference has named forward Anna Cornacchione (Cincinnati, Ohio) as its freshman of the year and co-offensive player of the year. She highlights eight members of Hanover College’s women’s soccer team who have earned post-season honors from the league.

Joining Cornacchione on the Heartland Conference’s first team are sophomore forward Rachel Alvis (Cincinnati, Ohio) and senior backs Chloe Hutchinson (Louisville, Ky.) and Paige Byers (Noblesville, Ind.).

Sophomore goaltender Morgan Cole (Mason, Ohio) and freshman forward Elaine Simpson (Lexington, Ky.) earned spots on the HCAC’s second team.

Sophomore midfielder Megan Insley (Worthington, Ohio) received honorable mention, while senior midfielder Rachel Evans (Urbandale, Iowa) garnered sports on the league’s all-sportsmanship team.

The Heartland Conference tabbed Jim Watts as its coach of the year for the third time in his six seasons on the Panthers’ sidelines.

Cornacchione, who shares most valuable offensive player honors with Transylvania University (Ky.) senior Amy Ghibaudy, leads Hanover with 30 points, including a team-high 13 goals and four assists.

Alvis, a two-time all-conference honoree, has netted five goals and leads the Panthers with 77 shots and seven assists.

Hutchinson has one goal and four assists,  while Byers has netted one goal. The duo teams with Cole to lead a defensive unit which has allowed just 11 goals in 20 matches and tallied 10 shutouts.

Cole has posted a 14-1-2 record and logged more than 1,500 minutes in Hanover’s net. She has allowed only nine goals in 17 matches and totaled 64 saves.

Simpson, whom the Heartland Conference twice named its player of the week during the season, is second on the Panthers with seven goals and 18 points. She also has four assists.

Insley has started all 20 matches in Hanover’s midfield. Evans, a four-year member of the program, has netted one goal.

Hanover has set a school single-season record with 17 wins and captured the HCAC’s regular-season championship with an 8-0-1 league mark. The Panthers have also set school marks with the team’s current nine-match winning streak and 15-match unbeaten streak (13-0-2).

The Panthers, 17-1-2 overall this season, will battle Salem College (N.C.) at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The contest will be played at Thomas More College (Ky.) in Crestview Hills, Ky.

Hanover is making its second appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Panthers posted a 15-3-2 record in 2011 and lost at Loras College (Iowa), 3-0, in the program’s first NCAA III tourney appearance.