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Muhlenberg College

Monday, November 15, 2010

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muhlenberg to host soccer sectional

NCAA soccer logo For one Division III men’s soccer team, Muhlenberg College will be the last stop before the “Final Four.”

Muhlenberg was selected to host one of four sectional tournaments for the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Mules will host three other “M” schools – Messiah, Medaille and Merchant Marine – at Varsity Field on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20-21.

Muhlenberg will face Merchant Marine on Saturday in one game, and Messiah
Josh Luginbuhl
Josh Luginbuhl's golden goal against Stevens yesterday has the Mules headed in the right direction.
will square off against Medaille in the other. Game times are 11:00 and 1:30, with the order to be determined. The winners meet Sunday at 1:00, with the winner of that game earning a spot in the national semifinals in San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 3-4.

The other sectional sites are Ohio Wesleyan, Bowdoin and Wis.-Oshkosh.

Muhlenberg (13-2-6) is in the “Sweet 16” for the first time since 1997. The Mules, ranked 21st in the pre-NCAA Tournament national poll, advanced through the first two rounds with wins vs. Keene State (2-0) and 13th-ranked Stevens (2-1 in double overtime), the latter result snapping the Ducks’ 34-match home unbeaten streak.

Muhlenberg hosted an NCAA game this far into the tournament once before: In 1995, the Mules defeated Ithaca, 4-0, at Varsity Field to advance to the national semifinals. In those days, there was only one game at each site the second weekend of competition.

Merchant Marine (12-2-5) shut out Kean (2-0) and came back to defeat Brockport State (3-2 in overtime) to reach its first “Sweet 16” since 2002. Although the Mariners and Mules have not played each other since 2005, they do have two common opponents this year. Merchant Marine played Stevens to a 1-1 tie, and the Mariners split two games with Drew, who Muhlenberg tied.

Messiah (19-1) is Division III royalty. The Falcons are in the sectional round for the 13th consecutive season and have won the national championship seven times in the last 10 years, including last year. Messiah is ranked third in Division III and has won 19 in a row since dropping its season opener to Hobart.

Medaille (16-4-3), from Buffalo, N.Y., is making its first trip to the sectionals and is one of the surprise teams of the tournament. The unranked Mavericks shut out Rochester, 1-0, in the first round, then knocked out Swarthmore – the only team to have defeated Muhlenberg this season – on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens and $2 for children ages 3-12.
Click here for the complete bracket.

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