Men's Lacrosse Tops Haverford For First CC Win

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
 

Softball, baseball, women’s tennis

During the closing seconds of the third quarter of the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team’s game against Haverford, play was halted for several minutes as the officials sorted out multiple penalties. The lengthy delay hardly mattered to the Mules – after waiting over a month for a victory, what’s a few extra minutes?

Muhlenberg took a 7-3 lead late in the first half and answered a third-quarter Fords rally, holding on for an 11-8 win, its first in Centennial Conference play and the team’s first since prevailing at Susquehanna on Feb. 26. The long-awaited victory snapped a seven-game skid for the Mules (2-9, 1-4), who got the best of Haverford in a battle of two teams desperate for a positive result.

Jashon DeSenna
Sophomore Jashon DeSenna had a game-high three caused turnovers and scooped up four of the Mules' season-high 43 ground balls.
“It’s been a tough season, a long road, but this is a huge relief,” said senior Tom Glancy, who netted his fifth career hat trick. “It was a fight not to be in last place, so we had to make sure we came out on top. It was a game we knew we could win, and we showed it today. We’re out of the rut, off the schneid.”

Early on, it looked like the slump was destined to continue for another day when the Fords (1-10, 0-5), who now have a seven-game losing streak of their own, opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. But the Mules rebounded, taking the lead for good on a goal by Glancy that made it 3-2 with 2:39 to play in the first quarter. After the teams traded scores, Muhlenberg took control late in the second period.

The Mules closed the half with three straight goals, with junior Jason Mertz assisting freshman Brad D’Alessandro on the first and senior Casey Gill on the second. When junior Austin Akner found the back of the net with 3:12 before intermission, Muhlenberg was riding high with a 7-3 advantage, clearly energized by the prospect of busting its slump.

“We knew we were facing a team that was in a similar situation, so we just had to increase our intensity,” said co-captain Danny Thomas.

The Fords made it interesting, though, scoring in the closing seconds of the half and netting the first two goals of the third quarter to pull to within 7-6. But D’Alessandro and Glancy finished off their hat tricks just over a minute apart, with Glancy’s third goal making it 9-6 with just over two minutes left in the period. Haverford could get no closer than two the rest of the way as the Mules got the better of the matchup for the first time since 2010.

Brad D'Alessandro “We had guys playing with more confidence today,” Thomas said of Muhlenberg, which converted three of its five extra-man opportunities. “We played in control of ourselves.”

Sophomore Steven Casella scored a pair of goals for the Mules, who came in with Division III’s 13th-ranked strength of schedule, according to laxpower.com. Haverford had played the 11th-toughest schedule, and the website ranked the Fords and Mules first and second, respectively, among one-win teams in the nation.

Mertz dished out three assists, becoming just the third player in program history to record 20 in a season. D’Alessandro (right) and Glancy, meanwhile, each had one as Muhlenberg recorded a season-high eight helpers. Junior Jon Thomas assisted on Glancy’s third goal for his first point of the year.

Junior Adam Schlauch was stellar between the pipes, making six of his 11 saves in the fourth quarter to help Muhlenberg hold on to its advantage. Haverford finished just 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

“Brad played out of his mind, so that really helped, and Schlauch made so many great saves,” Glancy said. “The whole team came together for this one. It was huge.”

The proverbial monkey finally off their backs, the Mules now head into the season’s final three games with a renewed confidence.

“We felt like if we could get this one, maybe we can take some momentum into Saturday and get the ball rolling,” Glancy said. “Now we know we can win. Hopefully we can pick up some more wins and see what we can do.”
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