Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2001
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CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND, PART 2
Volleyball Hosts CC Tourney, Men’s Soccer on the Road
MEN’S SOCCER IN COMPETITIVE FIELD

The Muhlenberg College men’s soccer will travel to Johns Hopkins this weekend to compete in the Centennial Conference Tournament.

The semifinal games are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2, at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with the championship game set for Saturday, Nov. 3, at 6:00 p.m. The winner of Saturday’s match earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Muhlenberg, the second seed, will take on third-seeded Western Maryland in the second semifinal game. Johns Hopkins, the top seed, will face fourth-seeded Gettysburg in the first semifinal game.

The CC tournament will be very competitive with all four teams in the tournament regionally ranked within the top eight. Johns Hopkins is ranked second with Gettysburg, Western Maryland and Muhlenberg ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Johns Hopkins (three) Muhlenberg (three) and Gettysburg (two) have combined to win all eight CC championships to date.

This is the first year that the CC used a postseason tournament to determine its champion in men’s soccer. Here’s a quick look at the four competing teams:

Muhlenberg (12-5, 6-3): After two straight seasons in the ECAC Tournament, the Mules will try to make a run at the NCAA Tournament this weekend. Muhlenberg has won five in a row since suffering a 4-1 loss to Western Maryland on Oct. 13. Freshman Tim Sparta and junior David Vassilaros pace the Mules with six goals apiece. Muhlenberg won its three previous CC titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Johns Hopkins (15-2, 9-0): The 13th-ranked Blue Jays are the team to beat this weekend with a perfect 9-0 record in CC play. Senior forward Matthew Doran leads the team and CC with 17 goals this season while he and senior forward Aerik Williams are tied with 13 assists. Freshman goalkeeper Gary Kane Jr. allowed only 11 goals on the season. Johns Hopkins is the defending CC champion.

Western Maryland (13-4, 6-3): The Green Terror made its first trip to the postseason last year (the ECAC Tournament) and is looking to get to the NCAA Tournament this season. Western Maryland senior goalkeeper Ryan Defibaugh made 99 saves while only allowing 20 goals. Senior forward Vinny Pedalino leads the team with seven assists, while senior sweeper Barclay Losse leads the team with seven goals. The Green Terror finished 6-1 in October with its only loss coming to Rugters-Camden.

Gettysburg (14-4, 6-3): Gettysburg is led by senior goalkeeper Steve Kopp, who recorded an .870 save percentage, which was good enough to lead the CC. Junior midfielder Michael Bruno leads the team with seven goals and senior forward Clayton Krum leads the team with six assists. Gettysburg has won seven of its last eight, with its lone loss coming to first-seeded Johns Hopkins by a score of 2-0.

NATIONALLY RANKED WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM TO FACE ELIZABETHTOWN IN NCAA OPENER

The Muhlenberg women’s soccer team will face Elizabethtown in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament Mid-Atlantic Regional at Varsity Field this weekend. The Blue Jays advanced to the regional with a 7-0 win against Notre Dame (Md.) in a first-round game today.

Muhlenberg and Elizabethtown have met four times previously, but not since 1995. The Blue Jays hold a 3-1 series lead. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live by WMUH 91.7 FM.

In the final pre-tournament poll, the Mules cracked the top 25 for the first time all season. Muhlenberg is ranked third in the region and 22nd in Division III. Here is the regional poll:

1. New Jersey (17-0)
2. Messiah (16-1)
3. MUHLENBERG (18-2)
4. Scranton (16-3)
5. Elizabethtown (14-4)
6. Johns Hopkins (12-4-3)
7. Gettysburg (12-6)
8. Mary Washington (14-2-3)
9. Salisbury (14-2-3)
10. Rowan (12-5-1)

The Muhlenberg men’s team held at No. 8 in the regional rankings:

1. Messiah (16-1)
2. Johns Hopkins (15-2)
3. Arcadia (17-0-1)
4. Drew (15-3-1)
5. Carnegie Mellon (12-2)
6. Gettysburg (14-4)
7. Western Maryland (13-4)
8. MUHLENBERG (12-5)
9. Elizabethtown (12-6-1)
10. Franklin & Marshall (10-4)

VOLLEYBALL SURPRISE HOST OF CC TOURNAMENT

Muhlenberg, picked to finish sixth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, is the top seed and host of the CC volleyball tournament this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Memorial Hall. The winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Mules will face fourth-seeded Johns Hopkins in one semifinal at 1:00, with second-seeded Gettysburg and third-seeded Haverford meeting in the other semifinal at 3:00. The championship is scheduled for 7:00.

Muhlenberg tied for the regular-season championship with Gettysburg and Haverford, but earned the right to host the CC Tournament by defeating both teams 3-0. The Mules also knocked off Johns Hopkins in four games. There will be a new champion crowned this Saturday, as Franklin & Marshall, the preseason favorite to repeat as CC champion, failed to qualify.

According to senior co-captain Laura Funsten, “We are very excited about having home-court advantage because it will give us a big boost in morale. There will be no surprises this weekend because we played these teams before and beat them. Our main goal all season was to win a conference championship and now we are in the position to do so.”

Here’s a quick look at the four competing teams:

Muhlenberg (19-10, 8-2): Muhlenberg is one win away from its seventh 20-win season and two away from its first NCAA bid. The Mules will be led by Funsten, the school’s all-time leader in assists, and junior Meaghan Billie, the team leader in kills. Funsten needs 34 assists to break her own season record, while Billie has recorded 318 kills, which is fifth on the program’s single-season list.

Gettysburg (19-7, 8-2): The Bullets come in to the tournament the hottest team, winning 11 of their last 13, and earned a berth when they defeated Franklin & Marshall in four games on October 24. Gettysburg won four straight CC titles from 1995-98 and shared the trophy in 1999. Seniors Megan Wargo and Lauren Boyd will help lead the charge for the Bullets. Both were second-team All-CC selections last year.

Haverford (21-11, 8-2): The Fords clinched a share of their first-ever CC regular-season title with a 3-0 win over Swarthmore on October 24. Sophomores Jen Constantino and Jelyn Meyer, both All-CC selections last year, have combined for 761 kills this season to rank second and third, respectively, in the CC.

Johns Hopkins (16-13, 7-3): The Blue Jays started off the season losing five of their first seven matches, but bounced back to win seven of their last 10 and earn a berth in the tournament. Johns Hopkins will be led by senior Emily Miller, the team leader in kills with 380, and freshman Betsy Baydala, who has 863 assists.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated October 31, 2001