Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, October 26, 2001
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BIG COMEBACK CLINCHES SOCCER PLAYOFF BERTH
NATION’S TOP RUSHER ON DISPLAY
IN FOOTBALL GAME VS. URSINUS

Who: Ursinus (4-3, 2-2) at Muhlenberg (5-2, 4-1)
What: The Centennial Conference season finale for Muhlenberg. If the Mules win, they will finish with a 5-1 record in the CC, their best since 1986, when they tied for the league championship.
When: Saturday, October 27, 1:00
Where: Scotty Wood Stadium
On the Air: Greg Kadetsky, Justin Deutsch and Jon Eddy will call the game live on WMUH 91.7 FM. To listen in, go to the WMUH Web site and click on Real Audio.

Series Record: Muhlenberg holds a 34-23-7 lead in a series that has been marked by close games in recent years. Since 1989, all but one meeting has been decided by a touchdown or less. The only exception was the 1999 game played in Allentown, when Ursinus won, 35-23. The average margin during that span is 5.25 points. Last year in Collegeville, two extra points proved to be the difference in a 21-19 Muhlenberg win.

Scouting the Bears: Ursinus boasts one of the top running backs and one of the top rushing defenses in Division III. Senior Shearrod Duncan is the leading rusher in the country, averaging 180.4 yards per game. He carried 38 times for 254 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 53-14 win against Wooster and added 89 yards on three receptions for a total of 343 all-purpose yards. Duncan has become the Bears’ all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (28) and points (202) in the last two games. The Ursinus defense, which ranks seventh in Division III against the run (62.6 yards per game), held Wooster to minus-40 yards rushing. The Bears also lead the CC in sacks and are second in turnover margin.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg isn’t too shabby in the running back and defense departments either. Sophomore Matt Bernardo averages 120.1 yards per game and leads the CC with 17 touchdowns. He needs 159 yards to reach 1,000 for the season and one touchdown to tie the CC single-season record. The Mules lead the CC in scoring defense, allowing only 15.6 yards per game. Senior linebacker Jon-Paul Skarpetowski was named CC player of the week after last week’s 41-0 shutout at Gettysburg. Senior Joshua Carter, who went over 2,500 career receiving yards in the game, needs one touchdown to tie the school record of 40 in a career and four yards on punt returns to break the CC career record if 1,480.

The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team overcame a 2-0 deficit in the final 30 minutes to defeat Ursinus, 3-2, in its regular-season finale and clinch a berth in the Centennial Conference playoffs.

The first CC Tournament will be held next weekend at Johns Hopkins. The
Tom Hartey
Junior Tom Hartey tied the game with his third goal of the season.
Mules (12-5, 6-3) can be either the second, third or fourth seed. The only way Muhlenberg could be the fourth seed (and have to face the nationally ranked hosts in the first round) would be if Franklin & Marshall upset Johns Hopkins on Saturday night.

Despite holding a 17-3 advantage in shots in the first half, the Mules could not find the back of the net. The inability to score came back to haunt them 10 minutes into the second half when the Bears took a 1-0 lead.

Just 98 seconds later, Ursinus extended the margin to 2-0 when a Muhlenberg defender kicked the ball into his own net for a potentially demoralizing own goal.

For the second time in three days, however, the Mules came back to win — something they had not done the first 15 games of the season. Freshman Tim Sparta began the comeback when he volleyed the rebound of a saved shot into the back of the net. Less than five minutes later, junior Tom Hartey tied the game with a spectacular goal, one-timing Quentin McDowell’s pass from the corner just under the crossbar.

Ursinus had a player sent off for earning his second yellow card at the 71:57 mark, and little more than a minute later junior Ben Long converted a pass from sophomore Evan Smallwood on a breakaway for the game-winner.

All five goals were scored in a span of 18:07. The win was Muhlenberg’s fifth straight overall and 17th straight in the series against Ursinus.

Click here for box score.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated October 26, 2001