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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

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Men's soccer, volleyball

first-half goals propel
women’s soccer to win

With less than eight minutes to play in the first half against Moravian, Valerie Patriarca checked into the game for the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team.

Moments later, the senior was streaking down the field after high-bouncing ball. Patriarca got to the ball first and
Valerie Patriarca
Patriarca celebrates (inset) after registering her 13th career goal.
headed it to her teammate Meghan O’Grady. With a wide-open net in front of her, O’Grady gave the ball a quick tap with her head before colliding with the Greyhounds’ goalie. The ball floated through the air and bounced in.

Then, less than a minute before halftime, freshman Stephanie Tramutola found Patriarca with a crossing pass, which Patriarca chipped over the goalie and into the net.

Those quick strikes were the first goals the Mules have scored in the first half this season, and give them the rare luxury of a halftime lead.

Luckily, the offense kept producing as Muhlenberg added three more goals to hold off a late Moravian charge for a 5-3 win at Varsity Field.

“We all just got energized,” Patriarca said of the two goals just before the half. “We started out really slow and then we kind of just pushed right through. Getting that lead was a big thing because we’ve been struggling to score. We haven’t been connecting, but today we really made it work.”

The Mules (3-5-2) did not take long to get
Lauren Petri
Senior Lauren Petri sprung O'Grady for a breakaway that resulted in her second goal with a long pass over the top of the Moravian defense.
started after the break, as O’Grady found Tramutola on the back post for an easy wide-open goal a little more than seven minutes into the second half.

Tramutola, who has played defense for most of her soccer career, had not scored since her freshman year of high school. That goal, the only other one of her life, came in a 7-1 loss. Luckily, history did not repeat itself Wednesday.

“I heard [assistant coach] Scott Mang yelling at me, ‘Go inside, go inside,’” Tramutola said. “So I just tried to run as fast as I could inside the defender. Then Meghan played a beautiful cross in and I just one-touched it into the goal.”

Tramutola’s goal put Muhlenberg up 3-0, but the Greyhounds responded with a goal of their own before the Mules’ top two scorers, O’Grady (eight goals) and Nicolette Miller (four goals), scored two minutes apart to stretch the lead to four.

Moravian (2-8-2) would go on to add two more, but it was not enough as the Mules held on for their first win over the Greyhounds since 2006. It was also only the second time in 17 meetings that the game was decided by more than one goal.

The win ties the Matte Award competition, 2-2, and gives Muhlenberg a sweep in men’s and women’s soccer for the fourth time.

And according to Patriarca, the offensive outburst should also help boost the Mules’ confidence.

“We needed this game to get some momentum,” she said. “We’ve been practicing hard and knew the results would come, and tonight things started coming together and it showed.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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