Men's Soccer Topples Nationally Ranked F&M

Saturday, September 28, 2013
 


Women’s soccer, volleyball Football, field hockey

With his giddy mates on the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team getting ready to line up for postgame handshakes, senior Jonathan Schauer sounded a cautionary note. “Hey, it’s just one win,” he shouted. “We got plenty more to go.”

Oh, but what a win it was.

Travis Wantchekon Junior Travis Wantchekon scored the only goal on a penalty kick early in the second half as the Mules snapped a three-game losing streak by toppling Franklin & Marshall. Not only did the Diplomats (7-1-1, 1-1) come in ranked in the top 15 in both Division III polls, but they had not allowed a goal all season.

“We brought a different kind of intensity tonight,” said Schauer. “Everybody was working for each other, and it all came together.”

Schauer acknowledged that F&M’s unscored-upon streak, plus the Mules’ recent goal-scoring difficulties, contributed to the added intensity. And even with a player – junior Joe Adams – making his first career start in the back, the defense came through, recording its fifth shutout of the season.

The first half featured plenty of back-and-forth action, three shots by each team, and spectacular save by each goalie. In the 19th minute, senior Jeremy Katz drew a foul just outside the box. Junior Bryan Attanasio’s shot was well-placed, but the F&M goalie dove to his right at the last second to knock it away.

Late in the half, Muhlenberg sophomore Ellison Heil dove to his left to deny the Diplomats.

Early in the second half, senior Jeff Reinhart was fouled along the sideline in the attacking third. As Attanasio’s free kick sailed into the box, junior Lance Dotzman was fouled going up for a header. Wantchekon (left) converted the penalty kick for his second goal of the season, ending F&M’s scoreless minutes streak at 796.

Muhlenberg (5-4, 1-1) would not take another shot until the closing moments of the game and spent most of the remaining time defending. But for the most part, the Mules kept the Diplomats from dangerous scoring chances. Heil made three saves for his first career CC shutout.

“We’ve given up what some people would call ‘soft’ goals,” said Schauer. “We were all getting pretty fed up with that. Ell [Heil] came up huge.”

With one win against a nationally ranked opponent – their first in the CC regular season since 2005 – in the books, the Mules will turn their attention to another one when they travel to Swarthmore on Wednesday.

“It’s a marathon in this conference, not a sprint,” said Schauer. “After losing to Gettysburg [last Saturday], we needed this win.”
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