Three Mules Teams Drop OpenersFriday, August 30, 2013
The Scarlet Raptors, ranked No. 14 in the NSCAA preseason poll, took a 1-0 lead into halftime before the Mules’ Travis Wantchekon came back with a dramatic equalizer.
With just over 33 minutes to play, the junior defensive midfielder scored his second career goal on a long rocket. Wantchekon (left) took a touch well outside the 18-yard box and fired a right-footed shot on goal, the ball deflecting off a Rutgers-Camden defender and over the outstretched arms of the Scarlet Raptors’ goalie to tie the game at 1.
Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good less than two minutes later, though, and the Mules never recovered. Muhlenberg, playing in new uniforms on a field with new banners on the bleachers, a new scoreboard and a new press box, did its best to put pressure on the Scarlet Raptors for much of the second half, but was unable to find another equalizer.
Junior Oliver Katz made a crucial stop with about 20 minutes to play to keep the Mules in the game. Katz sprinted back on a breakaway to deflect the ball away from a Rutgers-Camden attacker who had a look at an empty net, preventing the Scarlet Raptors from taking a two-goal lead.
Senior forward Jeff Reinhart nearly equalized for the Mules with eight minutes remaining, but his on-target blast was deflected just over the bar.