Big Second Quarter Lifts Men's Lacrosse Past Swarthmore

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
 

Women’s lacrosse

Since the Centennial Conference is one of the strongest, most competitive men’s lacrosse leagues from top to bottom in Division III, games between member schools are usually tightly contested nailbiters that aren’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.

Not this one.

Ian de Ruiter
Senior Ian de Ruiter picked up three ground balls and caused one turnover for a defense that held Swarthmore scoreless for a span of 35 minutes.
On a night when the other three CC games were all decided by one goal, Muhlenberg used a huge second quarter to roll past Swarthmore, 15-6, and snap its 11-game CC losing streak.

“That was fun,” said senior attackman Jack Reilly.

It was also historic. The 15 goals tied the most ever scored by the Mules (5-4, 1-1) in a CC game. The nine-goal margin of victory was one short of a school record in CC play; Muhlenberg’s total margin of victory in its previous 11 CC wins was 20 goals.

Since joining the CC in 2003, the Mules had only two comparable league games: a 14-6 win against Franklin & Marshall in 2006 and a 15-5 defeat of Swarthmore in their playoff season of 2008.

The big win was even more impressive considering that the Garnet (2-5, 1-1) was coming off a 13-9 victory over previously undefeated Ursinus, which was receiving votes in the national poll.

Three Muhlenberg players – senior Doug Rheiner, junior Tom Glancy and sophomore Jon Thomas – recorded hat tricks, while senior Michael Carpetto and sophomore Jason Mertz netted a pair of goal apiece.

The offensive onslaught came just one game after the Mules were held to two goals in their CC opener, a 6-2 loss at Franklin & Marshall.

“We definitely took it personally,” said Reilly, who had a team-leading three assists. “Coach got on us pretty hard, and we knew we could do better.

Ian Jones
In addition to his career-high three points, Jones was 12-for-18 on faceoffs and picked up eight ground balls. He needs seven more faceoff wins to break the school record of 117 in a season.
“We just didn’t execute against F&M. The game before that, we scored 18 against Richard Stockton. We knew we had to come out firing, and we did that.”

It was actually Swarthmore that fired off the first two salvos, netting a pair of goals 74 seconds apart midway through the first quarter to take a 2-0 lead. Then came the turning point: senior Ian Jones won the ensuing faceoff, charged down the middle of the field and put in his first goal of the season just six seconds later.

Thomas tied the game with 5:56 left in the quarter, and 18 seconds later the Mules scored off a faceoff again, with Jones feeding Mertz.

Muhlenberg led 3-2 after the first quarter, setting the stage for a second period in which the Mules scored nine goals, tying a school record set in 1975 and matched in 2003.

Rheiner scored all three of his goals and Reilly recorded all three of assists in the second-quarter blitz. The defense forced five Swarthmore turnovers in the quarter, and Muhlenberg scored on nine of its 17 shots.

For the game, Muhlenberg fired off 54 shots.

“Coach was telling us to be aggressive,” said Reilly. “We feel that if we’re aggressive, no one can stop us. We let it all loose and had fun.”

The fun continued early in the third quarter, with goals by Reilly, Glancy and Mertz – the latter coming directly off a faceoff win by Jones – giving Muhlenberg a 15-2 lead. The Garnet broke the 15-0 run with 2:21 left in the third, but by that time the only drama left was what type of cookies would be in the postgame tailgate.

The win gave the Mules strong positive momentum heading into Saturday’s big game against 13th-ranked Gettysburg.

“Any game in the Centennial Conference is a big one,” said Reilly. “We know anyone can beat anyone else. From the goalies to the defense to the middies to the attack to the coaches, this was a full team effort and a great win.”
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