Men's Lacrosse 2012 Season Review

 

Despite a solid start and several great individual performances, the 2012 season was a struggle for the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team.

After winning two of their first three games, the Mules’ luck went south, and they dropped several tight contests, including six decided by three goals or less, to finish the season 2-12 against the 10th-toughest schedule in the country. Nine of the Mules’ 14 opponents went on to play in the postseason.

Jonathan Fritog
In addition to setting career highs for ground balls and caused turnovers, Fritog registered the first points of his career with a goal and an assist at McDaniel.

Muhlenberg got the year started on a strong note, beating would-be Skyline Conference champion Montclair State in the opener, 9-5. Behind junior Ian Jones (15-of-18 faceoffs won, 11 ground balls) the Mules dominated the faceoff X and got offensive contributions from junior Doug Rheiner, who registered his first career hat trick, and senior Alex Ardolino, who scored twice and dished out an assist.

Two games later, Rheiner scored a career-high five goals, and classmate Jack Reilly dished out four assists (one shy of the school record) to lead the Mules to a 9-7 win at Susquehanna. It was the first time in the modern history of the program that Muhlenberg had five-goal and four-assist performances in the same game.

The Reilly and Rheiner connection went on to become a common theme for the season. The duo led the team with 32 points apiece, becoming the first pair of teammates to each score at least 32 in a season, and they did it in very different fashions.

Rheiner was just the ninth Mule ever to score at least 25 goals in a season. He earned All-CC honorable mention after ranking fifth in the conference in goals per game (1.79). Reilly, meanwhile, dished out 17 assists, the fourth-most ever in a season in school history.

Corey Aferiat
Aferiat ranks in the top 10 in Mule history in career assists (t-5th, 28) and points (8th, 45).
After missing the first six games because of injury, preseason All-American Nick Rispoli returned to lead the CC in faceoff win percentage (.652) and ground balls per game (6.88) in conference play and earn honorable mention all-conference. He closed out his career in impressive fashion, scoring his first career goal against Ursinus and then winning 21 of 26 faceoffs in the finale against Haverford to shatter the Mule single-game records for faceoffs won (old record 18) and ground balls (19, old record 14). He broke the school record with 240 faceoffs won in his career and also ranks fourth all time with 156 career ground balls.

Junior Ian Jones also had a great year on the faceoff X, posting a .562 winning percentage (95-of-169, fourth in the CC), picking up a team-high 69 ground ball and scoring five goals.

Seniors Corey Aferiat (17 G, 6 A) and Ardolino (13 G, 4 A) were important parts of the offense, while classmates Jonathan Fritog (23 GB, 10 CT) and Jay Salasko (11 GB, 4 CT) were leaders on defense. Ardolino finished his career in the top 10 in school history in goals (8th, 54) and points (9th, 70).

Freshman Jon Thomas made an immediate impact, tying for second on the squad with 17 goals, including four against Haverford. Juniors Michael Carpetto (5 G, 5 A, 43 GB) and AJ Diaz (5 G, 2 A in 9 games) also contributed to the attack.

Junior Ian de Ruiter led the squad with 23 caused turnovers to go along with 41 ground balls, and classmates Zach Weiner (22 GB, 13 CT) and James Coleman (15 GB, 10 CT, 2 G), and sophomore Jason Monroe (11 GB, 4 CT) all appeared in at least 13 of the 14 games on defense.

In goal, junior James Fasola stopped more than 52 percent of the shots he faced and finished second in the CC averaging 11.00 saves per game. Freshman Adam Schlauch appeared in eight games in the cage with five starts and made a season-high 11 saves in his first career action against Franklin & Marshall.