Women's Soccer 2013 Season Review

 

The Muhlenberg women’s soccer team wasn’t involved in many high-scoring affairs during the 2013 season. Indeed, 15 of the Mules’s 20 games ended in shutouts. That didn’t stop the game with the least offense from being the highlight of the season.

Like so many others this fall, Muhlenberg’s first-round Centennial Conference playoff clash at McDaniel was an offensive struggle. The teams fought through 90 scoreless minutes and then 20 more, forcing a rare penalty shootout. With the season – and the careers of their four seniors – on the line, the Mules rose to the challenge.

CJ Graetzer
Graetzer finished her career with 18 goals, good for 12th on the program's all-time list. Her 43 points place her inside the top 15 in that category, and she was named to the CC Academic Honor Roll in 2013.
When senior co-captain Amanda Wong sprawled out for a diving save on the final kick, Muhlenberg had its first playoff victory since 2008 in its first shootout since 1999. The season ended with a loss to Johns Hopkins in the semifinals, but not before the Mules had qualified for the CC tournament for the ninth time in 13 years – and penned a signature chapter to their latest campaign.

The Mules did make a big piece of history during their 7-11-2 season. A 1-0 victory at Franklin and Marshall on October 12 gave head coach Leslie Benintend the 200th victory of her career, making her just the third female coach in school history to reach that plateau. The monumental moment was especially meaningful for senior co-captains Wong, CJ Graetzer, Susan Galgano and Stephanie Tramutola – all of whom pointed to it as their best soccer memory at Muhlenberg.

Graetzer, a first-team ECAC South All-Star selection, had plenty of moments during a stellar career in which she started all but six games. The lanky midfielder netted a team-high six goals in 2013, two of which came in a 4-0 rout of Bryn Mawr on Senior Day that clinched a berth into the CC playoffs. For the second year in a row, Graetzer was named to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region team and was a first-team All-CC performer.

Wong, meanwhile, turned in a strong campaign in her first season as a starter. She finished with a .786 save percentage, recording five shutouts. Coincidentally, Wong’s other standout performance also came in a scoreless tie – she made 12 saves against Lebanon Valley early in the season.

Stephanie Tramutola
Tramutola scored four goals and assisted on seven others in her career as a Mule. She was also named to the CC Academic Honor Roll each of the last two years.
Galgano and Tramutola were their typically stalwart selves in the backfield, helping the Mules to record nine blank sheets. They even contributed to the offense, with Tramutola notching three assists and Galgano posting the first assist and goal of her career – a game-winning strike with 15 seconds left in a 1-0 victory at Dickinson. Tramutola ended her career honorable mention recognition by the conference for a stellar senior season.

Junior Krissy Fioretti joined Galgano and Tramutola in the defensive backfield and tied for the team lead with three assists, while sophomore Gabriela De Frutos played in 16 games and posted two assists. Freshman Rachel Manci established herself right away as a key contributor at back, one of four Mules to start all 20 games.

Muhlenberg also received much-needed production from a trio of newcomers, part of six freshmen and sophomores in the starting lineup. Freshman midfielder Abby Lazofsky made 12 starts and was second on the team with four goals, while classmate Courtney Simon started eight games in the midfield, coming up with a goal and an assist.

Along with Galgano, Tramutola and Manci, junior Colleen Touhey was the other Mule to start every game, scoring two goals and adding an assist out of her midfield spot. Sophomores Megan Nehila and Nicole Karsch were also mainstays of the midfield, making 19 and 17 starts, respectively, while sophomore Tori Dowd saw action in 13 games. Karsch joined Tramutola and Fioretti with a team-high three assists, while Nehila scored her first career goal in a victory over Delaware Valley. Classmate Taylor Pini started 18 games, seeing time as both a forward and midfielder.

Junior Audrey Zamichow and sophomores and Macayla Baer and Jacelin Muschlitz played up top, each notching a pair of starts. Muschlitz was third on the team with two goals, and Zamichow recorded an assist. Junior Emily Bain played in only three games all season, but scored a crucial goal in the playoff shootout and was named to the CC’s fall All-Sportsmanship team.

Sophomore Jen Mermelstein made six starts between the pipes. Her first career shutout came in a 1-0 victory at McDaniel.