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Saturday, November 13, 2010

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Football Cross country Wrestling

men’s soccer ncaa win is
way, way cool

The road that leads to a tournament final for the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team is a two-Way street.

For the second week in a row, sophomore Danny Way scored
Danny Way
Way is only the second Muhlenberg player to score two goals in an NCAA Tournament game. The first was Tim Averell, who notched a hat trick in the 1995 quarterfinal win against Ithaca.
two goals in the opening round of a postseason tournament. This time it was all the scoring in the game, as the Mules defeated Keene State, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The win puts Muhlenberg (12-2-6) into the second round, where it will face host 13th-ranked host Stevens (15-1-3), a 3-0 winner against Hunter in the first game.

Way’s two goals came about 10 minutes apart in the second half and allowed the Mules and their fans – who included a sizable contingent of former Mule players – to breathe easier after what had been mostly “one of those games” where they controlled play but had difficulty finding the back of the net.

After a back and forth first 20 minutes,
Cody Antonini
Antonini's two assists gave him 39 points for the season, tying him for fourth on the Mules' all-time list. He scored 39 points total his first two seasons.
Muhlenberg had the better of the play for the rest of the first half, allowing the Owls (14-5-2) little possession in the attacking third. The Mules’ best chance to score came when senior Mike Williams sent in a perfect cross from the right in the 41st minute. The ball went off the top of the foot of a Muhlenberg player inside the 6 and flew high over the net.

The Mules held a 15-7 advantage in shots in the first 45 minutes.

“We told ourselves at halftime not to press, and not to force the issue,” said senior Jason Daniels, who had to reach back to snare a shot headed for the goal line and prevent Keene from scoring the first goal of the game midway through the first. “Before halftime I felt like it was just a matter of time before we put one in if we kept playing like we’re capable of. In the second half it showed.”

Another cross from Williams in the 60th minute set up Way for a scoring opportunity at the back post, but his header went wide. The Mules finally got their breakthrough at 65:11, after junior Cody Antonini battled a Keene State defender for control of the ball through the box. Just before the ball was about to go over the endline, Antonini booted it back across the goal to Way, who headed it in.

“It was pretty easy,” Way said. “Cody made it all happen, basically. It was nice to get that after I missed that wide-open header.”

Five minutes later, the game changed when an Owl player received a red
Tom Reilly
Tom Reilly and the rest of the Muhlenberg seniors survive to play another day.
card for a hard foul on freshman back Ryan Barlotta, who stayed down on the field for a while after getting hit.

“It hurt a little bit, but I guess it was worth it,” he said.

Up a goal and a man, the Mules took to the attack, and it paid off when Antonini fed Way for another goal at 75:34.

A nice save by Daniels on a hard 1-on-1 shot from the 18 in the latter stages preserved the shutout and the win, Muhlenberg’s first in an NCAA Tournament game since 1997. The shutout was the Mules’ 12th of the season, their most since 2003.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

Up next for Muhlenberg is a Stevens team that has not been defeated in regulation or overtime in the NCAA Tournament since the 2005 third round. Over that span, the Ducks are 7-1-4, with the only loss coming in penalty kicks to Messiah in the 2008 national championship match.

“We’re going to have our hands full. They’re a very good team,” said Daniels. “We’ll have to kick it up a notch.”

“It’s going to take our ‘A’ game tomorrow,” added Barlotta.

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