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Saturday, October 23, 2010 - page 2

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women’s soccer wins home finale
behind miller hat trick

Trick or treat came a week early for Nicolette Miller of the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team.

The junior scored three goals for her first career hat trick, leading the Mules to their third straight win, 4-0 under a full moon at Varsity Field. The shutout elevated the Mules (7-6-2, 6-2) over .500 for the first
Nicolette Miller
All but two of Miller's 11 goals this season have come in CC play.
time this season and kept them in a tie for second place in the Centennial Conference with two games to go in the regular season.

In her last game, Miller tied a school record with three assists, which begs the question: Is it better to give or to receive?

“To be honest, I think I like giving a lot better,” said Miller. “But both felt great. Both helped us get a win.”

Miller has some company in the record book, as junior Meghan O’Grady assisted on all three goals. No Muhlenberg player recorded three assists in a game from 1999 to 2009, and now two different Mules have done it in the last two games.

O’Grady’s first two assists came after long runs down the field. Midway through the first half, she won a ball at midfield and battled a Diplomat back to keep possession of the ball all the way to the end line. From there, she crossed into the box, and Miller beat the F&M goalie to the ball for her first goal, giving Muhlenberg a 2-0 lead. (Freshman CJ Graetzer lofted a shot over the F&M keeper just 2:39 into the game for the first goal.)

Early in the second half, Muhlenberg scored on a counterattack, with O’Grady again dribbling from the center line to the box and crossing to Miller. The final goal came after a nice through ball from O’Grady to Miller.

“We just really connected tonight,” said Miller.

The two are connected in the record book, not just in the assists category. Miller has 11 goals on the season and O’Grady 10, making them Senior Night banner just the second different tandem to reach double figures in goals in the same season. Dawn Iberer and Rebecca Armstrong did it in both 2002 and 2003.

Miller’s hat trick was the 16th in program history. The only other active player to record a hat trick is Valerie Patriarca, who along with the team’s other senior, Lauren Petri, was honored before the Mules’ final home game of the season.

“They’re great players and great leaders,” said Miller of the two seniors. “They’ll definitely be missed on and off the field.”

Before they’ll be missed, they have a week left with the team, and hopefully more. Muhlenberg is tied with Johns Hopkins and Gettysburg for second place, one game behind Dickinson and one ahead of Haverford, Ursinus and Swarthmore, as it seeks a CC playoff berth.

“Tonight was definitely a confidence booster for us,” said Miller. “We’ve been working on going hard for a full 90 minutes, and this was one of the first times we played hard from start to finish. We’ll need that intensity against Ursinus and Gettysburg.”
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