Men's Soccer Finishes 2-0 Opening Weekend with 2-0 Win

Saturday, September 3, 2011
 

Football Women’s soccer, volleyball, field hockey

Midway through the second half of the Muhlenberg men’s soccer game against DeSales, Ari Nutovits got kicked in the chin after chasing down a ball in the box. One of his teeth dug into his lip, causing it to bleed and resulting in a short delay while athletic trainers attended to him.

“When your teeth get rattled, you get a little dizzy,” said the junior. “I needed a second to figure out where I was.”

Where he was was in front of the Mules’ goal. And that is looking like a place where he belongs.

Nutovits made seven saves to earn the shutout in his second

Danny Way
Way scores the first goal of the game and the 16th of his career.
career start as Muhlenberg completed a 2-0 opening weekend with a 2-0 win against local rival DeSales. Juniors Danny Way and Nate Squire scored the goals.

Nutovits delivered a much more secure performance than he did in his first start, when he allowed two goals (one on a penalty kick) in a 3-2 win against Cortland State.

“The first game I was a little nervous and on edge. I wanted to be as good as Jason Daniels,” he admitted, referring to the Mules’ All-America goalie last year. “Today I was more confident, more relaxed. I knew how they played, with a lot of long balls, so I stayed at the top of the box.”

The Bulldogs, who opened their season with an impressive 5-0 win against Moravian yesterday, had their best scoring chance in the eighth minute, when Nutovits was caught out of the box and used his chest to turn away a shot.

The rest of the first half was evenly played, with each team taking four shots, but Muhlenberg began to take command in the second half. In the fifth minute of the second half, senior Josh Luginbuhl sent in a cross from the right corner into the box. The Bulldog goalie came out to meet the ball, but Way beat him to it and slid the ball inside the left post.

“It was the same thing that happened against F&M in the playoffs last year,” said Way. “[Luginbuhl] bent it

Ryan Barlotta
Sophomore Ryan Barlotta and the Mule defense have shut out the Bulldogs two years in a row.
in and put it where I had a chance to get it before the goalkeeper. Luckily I got a toe on it and tapped it in.”

It was the first goal of the season for the top returning scorer in the Centennial Conference, who was starting to get frustrated after getting shut out in the Cortland State game and the first half of the DeSales game.

“It’s tough [being the team’s leading scorer], but I just have to prepare for that and know that the goals are going to come,” he said. “Hopefully other people will step up, and they have been. That takes a little weight off my shoulders.”

One of the people who has stepped up is Squire, the midfielder who scored off a direct kick for the second game in a row. With about six minutes left in the game and the Mules still clinging to a 1-0 lead, Way was brought down on a breakaway just outside the box, resulting in a red card for the Bulldog goalie. Squire greeted the new ’keeper with a perfectly placed shot to the upper right corner.

DeSales took three more shots and had two more corner kicks the rest of the way, but Nutovits and the defense turned them aside to complete the shutout.

“We were very organized today, especially in the back,” said Nutovits. “We stayed very compact and won almost all the 50-50 balls. We’re doing well.”
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