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Saturday, March 12, 2011

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Baseball

men’s lacrosse stops mules, beats seahawks

For the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team, something stood out about the opponent for its first home game of the 2011 season.

It wasn’t that St. Mary’s was ranked 18th in the
Brent Siebold
Senior Brent Siebold scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season with 3:14 left in the first half, giving Muhlenberg a 5-2 lead.
Division III preseason poll, or that the Seahawks had just defeated Centennial Conference rival McDaniel 12-6, or that their leading scorer was a preseason honorable mention All-American.

It was the name of the Seahawks’ second-leading scorer: Michael Mules.

Clint Watkins was joking about it before the game, that we couldn’t say ‘Go Mules,’” said senior Zachary Armstrong. “We had to say ‘Go Berg’ or ‘Go White,’ because we didn’t want to cheer for a guy on their team.”

They could joke about it after the game as well, since there was plenty of cheering for Mules the team and not Mules the player as Muhlenberg defeated St. Mary’s, 9-5.

Junior Alex Ardolino scored three goals for his
Zachary Armstrong
Armstrong celebrates his second goal of the game. He came in having scored only three goals in his career.
second hat trick of the season, Armstrong and sophomore Michael Carpetto added two apiece, and senior Mike Horowitz made 16 saves in a solid all-around effort by Muhlenberg.

Despite losing the opening faceoff, the Mules got off to a fast start. Seniors Tom Brant and Andy Curley combined to check the ball out of the stick of a Seahawk player as he made a move to goal, and Curley picked up the loose ball, leading to Armstrong’s first goal of the game just 16 seconds in.

“I was just coming out of the box, and Curley hit me breaking up the field,” said Armstrong. “There were two guys behind me but the defense didn’t slide, so I just put it in on the fast break.

“That was a big energy play and got everyone pumped. It’s exciting that I got the chance to make a play like that.”

St. Mary’s tied the score two minutes later, but Watkins put Muhlenberg
Clint Watkins
Watkins has recorded a point in all five of the Mules' games this season.
back in front with 10:20 left in the first. The Mules killed off two penalties late in the quarter, then scored two goals in the first six minutes of the second quarter (by Ardolino and Carpetto) to take a 4-1 lead.

The Seahawks never got closer than two goals the rest of the way, mainly due to a tough physical Muhlenberg defense that kept the shooting angles tough. Through the first three quarters, all three of the Seahawks’ goals came after one-on-one moves through traffic.

Sophomore Ian de Ruiter held the preseason All-American – who scored seven goals against McDaniel – to one, and Curley, Brant and sophomore Zach Weiner made it difficult down low. Defensive middies Armstrong, Carpetto, Chase Nadell and Nick Rispoli (who added a 10-of-16 day on faceoffs) also played key roles.

And they kept Mules off the scoreboard.

“Mike was like a wall in goal,” said Armstrong. “They were dodging a lot from the midfield, but we were ready to push them back. Ian shut down their top scorer, and our transition game was good too.

“This is definitely a good win for us. They play a tough schedule and they just beat one of the teams in our conference. This was our last game before we start in conference [next Saturday at Franklin & Marshall]. It’s better to go in 2-3 than 1-4.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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