WALESKA, GA – Connor Hanson had 17 saves, helping No. 5 Kennesaw State improve to 7-1 after taking down No. 13 Reinhardt, 9-8, on Saturday afternoon.
The Owls led from the beginning, although they were never able to pull away from the Eagles, who now fall one game back of the Owls in the race for the Southwest Division title in SELC Division II.
Tyler Mathews scored the first two for the Owls, racing by his defender both times before scoring a dunk on the crease to provide the Owls’ first goals of the afternoon.
“Tyler is our captain and he stepped up big time today.” said Kennesaw coach Tyler Yelken. “He provided the spark this team needed against one of the best defenses in the conference.”
Mathews, the 2015 SELC Player of the Year, finished the game with four goals.
Meanwhile, Hanson stood tall in net for the Owls, recording 17 saves on the way to a 67.0 save percentage for the afternoon. The junior was instrumental in navigating the Owls defense through the sea of yellow they came across Saturday. KSU was flagged nine times for a total of eight minutes spent in the penalty box, including a two-man down situation and a three minute non-releasable.
“He’s an All-American for a reason, and efforts like today only cement the fact that he is one of the best goalies in America.” said assistant coach Tom Mudrak.
The Owls took a one goal lead into the fourth quarter when the rain started to fall. The Owls were able to go up two when Reinhardt came storming back to tie the game with just under seven minutes left.
That is when senior midfielder Adam Staniewicz was able to backdoor his defender for an easy finish on the crease. The feed was provided by Cody Clark, who would buried the defining goal of the game just a few minutes later, when Ed Thorne drew a defender and found Clark sneaking across the crease for the goal, which put the Owls up 9-7.
Despite possessing the ball for less than 40 percent of the game, the Owls were efficient when they had the ball, scoring on nine of just 13 shots on-cage they took.
The Owls played Georgia State Tuesday night in Atlanta, winning 25-3. Kennesaw State will host No. 21 Lindenwood-Belleville Friday night at The Owls Nest and a livestream will be available via lacrossefire.tv.