Muhlenberg College
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2000 Fall Sports Preview

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• PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Two members of the Muhlenberg College football team have earned preseason All-America honors. Junior Joshua Carter was named a first-team All-American as a return specialist by Street & Smith’s, USA Football, DIII Football Online, Preview Sports and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette, and as an all-purpose player by Lindy’s. He also was on D3football.com’s Team of the Year. Lindy’s also named senior punter James Barski to its preseason All-America team.


• FOOTBALL PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
The Muhlenberg football team was selected to finish third in the Centennial Conference preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors. The Mules, who tied for third in 1999, received one first-place vote. Western Maryland was picked to win its fourth straight league championship. The complete poll, with first-place votes in parentheses:
1. Western Maryland (9) — 94 points
2. Ursinus (4) — 76 points
3. MUHLENBERG (1) — 63 points
4. Johns Hopkins — 49 points
5. Dickinson — 47 points
6. Franklin & Marshall — 30 points
7. Gettysburg — 29 points
8. Swarthmore — 12 points


• WOMEN’S SOCCER PICKED SECOND IN PRESEASON POLL
The Muhlenberg women’s soccer team was selected to finish second, just four points behind two-time defending champion Gettysburg, in the Centennial Conference preseason coaches poll. The Mules, who tied for second place with an 8-2 league record last year, received four first-place votes. The complete poll, with first-place votes in parentheses:
1. Gettysburg (5) — 94 points
2. MUHLENBERG (4) — 90 points
3. Johns Hopkins (1) — 86 points
4. Franklin & Marshall (1) — 67 points
5. Haverford — 60 points
6. Western Maryland — 56 points
7. Ursinus — 50 points
8. Dickinson — 32 points
9. Swarthmore — 31 points
10. Washington — 28 points
11. Bryn Mawr — 11 points


• MEN’S SOCCER PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team was selected to finish third in very close voting in the Centennial Conference preseason coaches poll. The Mules received two first-place votes and were just seven points behind preseason favorite Johns Hopkins. They finished second last season with a 7-1-1 league mark. The complete poll, with first-place votes in parentheses:
1. Johns Hopkins (5) — 77 points
2. Gettysburg (3) — 72 points
3. MUHLENBERG (2) — 70 points
4. Haverford — 51 points
5t. Franklin & Marshall — 43 points
5t. Washington — 43 points
7. Dickinson — 34 points
8. Western Maryland — 29 points
9. Ursinus — 21 points
10. Swarthmore — 10 points


• TEAM PREVIEWS
CROSS COUNTRY FIELD HOCKEY
Laura Roth For the first time ever, Muhlenberg had four athletes earn postseason running honors last fall, and three are back for the 2000 season. Senior Laura Roth (left, all-conference) will lead the women, who return four of their five top runners from the 1999 CC Championships. The men placed 15th in the Mideast Regional, matching their best finish since 1991, and welcome back two of the top 25 runners in that race: junior Will Elson and sophomore Brendan Gallagher. Kerry Lambert New Head Coach Kristen Stuckel inherits a team that reached double digits in wins each of the last two years, going 10-7 in 1999. Despite graduating five senior starters, the Mules return many talented players. All-CC selections and team co-captains Carole Caine and Kristin George headline the defense and midfield, respectively. Senior co-captain Kerry Lambert (right) also brings a veteran presence to the midfield. Senior Kelly Gower has been the team’s leading scorer two straight years, with eight goals in 1999.
FOOTBALL WOMEN’S SOCCER
The 2000 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Muhlenberg football team, but only the first anniversary of a record-breaking team that went 6-4 for its first winning season in a decade. With all but six of the 24 starters returning, the Mules will look to challenge for the Centennial Conference championship. Leading the offense will be senior quarterback Michael McCabe (2,560 yards, 26 TDs), the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Joshua Carter (45 catches, 9 TDs), who also was an All-America return specialist (35.0 yards per kickoff return). The offensive line, which paved the way for the Mules’ second-highest season point total ever, returns intact. Three senior starters — end David Jones (50 tackles, six for loss), cornerback Mike Burke (79 tackles, 13 pass breakups) and rover Mwaura Muroki (55 tackles, eight pass breakups) — are the stalwarts on defense. Senior punter James Barski (left) and Carter are important parts of the Mules’ outstanding special teams. About the only thing Muhlenberg doesn’t have in its favor is the schedule: the Mules must travel to Western Maryland, Ursinus and Dickinson, the three teams they finished behind or tied in the CC standings last year. Jen Sands For the second straight season, the women’s soccer team goes into the preseason hoping it won’t have a chance to defend its ECAC Tournament championship. The Mules (14-6-1) tied for second in the CC last year, just two one-goal losses away from a conference crown and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In fact, Muhlenberg's last 12 CC losses have all been by a single goal. Leading the charge to get the team over the hump will be first-team All-CC forwards Nancy Grove (12 goals) and Jen Sands (left, nine goals). Senior Alissa Desiderio and sophomore ’keeper Kim Laurino return for a defense that lost two all-conference starters to graduation.
MEN’S SOCCER VOLLEYBALL
Brad Kocher The men’s soccer team went 13-4-1 and returned to postseason play in 1999, earning the top seed in the ECAC Tournament and advancing to the championship game. If the Mules want to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997, they will have to compensate for the loss of seven senior starters, including their top goal-scorer and top two defenders. Junior Robert Pomento (0.97 goals-against average) and senior Brad Kocher (right) lead a defense that allowed only 13 goals last season. Sophomores Ben Long (seven goals) and Tom Hartey (four goals) are the top returning scorers. Laura Funsten Muhlenberg rang up a 20-18 record in 1999 with a team of mostly first-year players — and two seniors who are the program’s all-time leaders in kills and assists. First-year head coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman will look to lead the returning youngsters to lofty heights. Among the top players are junior setter Laura Funsten (left), sophomore middle blocker Meaghan Billie and sophomore defensive specialist Jennifer Leigh.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu

Last updated August 31, 2000