Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, September 21, 2001
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Peter Topping The Topping name has been synonymous with Muhlenberg men’s soccer over the span of the last eight years. At least for now, it will end following the 2001 season, with its most current member leaving a strong mark of hard work and determination.

Senior midfielder Peter Topping is the last of a current generation of Topping brothers to play for the Mules. He had two older brothers play for Coach Jeff Tipping, Shane (’00) and Sean (’98), with Sean moving on to become an assistant coach from 1999-00. “They both were great influences on my soccer career and decision to attend and play for Muhlenberg,” Peter recalls. “During some of Sean’s years, they had great teams that won conference championships and made postseason appearances, and it gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with Coach Tipping.”

Injuries, mainly stemming from a torn MCL midway through his sophomore season, have hampered his career numbers, but Topping’s importance to Muhlenberg stems far beyond his statistics. He poses as a leader both on the field and off, and particularly this season as one of five seniors on the roster. “Everyone has become good friends on this team, partly because we hang out off the field as well as competing together on it. We have a great freshman class who really have adjusted well to college life and this team’s chemistry, and they know that if they need anything, soccer-related or otherwise, we’re here for them.”

Experience isn’t something that Topping possesses only on the soccer field and the Muhlenberg campus. He studied abroad for a semester at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, which was an extremely beneficial trip to accommpany his international business major. “It was a great experience and I got to do a lot of traveling,” said Topping. “The only downfall to the trip was that I did not get to see any soccer games because all of the major teams were on road trips.”

Although Topping already has a full resume following the overseas experience, his immediate plans after graduation are not as certain. “The market could be bad when I get out into the real world, so I am not in any hurry to jump into anything. Eventually, I would like to work with the government as an international ambassador or diplomat, which would be a nice fit with my major and also my political science minor.”

While Topping continues to ponder his future career plans, he is sure about the future of the Mule soccer team. “This team is very confident about this season and has a lot of skill and, more importantly, depth to support that confidence. Coach can sub in anybody at anytime and that person is more than capable of getting the job done and the team loses nothing in the process, which is such an important attribute that not every team is lucky enough to possess.” Topping is right on the mark so far as the Mules are off to a positive 4-1 start and are ranked fifth in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Topping feels the Mules have “fight,” which might also be the best way to sum up his career. He has battled through injury and worked hard to set an example for the “family” of younger Mule players to follow and guide them throughout their Muhlenberg careers.

IMPORTANT SATURDAY FOR SOCCER TEAMS
Women Host Hopkins, Men at Gettysburg
Who: Johns Hopkins (5-0-1, 1-0-1) at Muhlenberg (6-2, 1-0)
What: A showdown between the two teams that tied for first in the Centennial Conference preseason women’s soccer poll. Last year, the Mules won the championship, but their only loss in league play was to the Blue Jays.
When: Saturday, September 22, 1:00
Where: Varsity Field

Series Record: Johns Hopkins holds a 5-3-1 lead in a series in which six of the games ended with a 1-0 score. In 1999, Muhlenberg pulled out a 1-0 regular-season win when Hopkins was ranked 12th in Division III, then won on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 1-1 tie in the ECAC Mid-Atlantic championship game. The Blue Jays’ 1-0 win in Baltimore last year is the Mules’ only loss in their last 17 CC games.

Scouting the Blue Jays: Johns Hopkins had its 15-game winning streak snapped when it battled Dickinson to a 0-0 tie on Wednesday. Junior goaltender Shannon O’Malley made a diving stop of a penalty kick in the first half to help preserve the shutout. The Blue Jays, who have recorded a record-setting nine consecutive shutouts (including six this season), are outscoring their opponents 18-0. Freshman Jen Baldwin leads the offense with five goals, four assists and 14 points.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg won its fourth straight game with a 3-0 victory over Delaware Valley on Wednesday. The Mules have outscored their opponents 13-1 during the win streak. Sophomore Dawn Iberer scored a goal for the fourth straight game, while sophomore Courtney Levine notched her second goal of the season and freshman Rachael Scott tallied her first career goal. Iberer, the CC player of the week, leads the Mules with 15 points on seven goals and an assist. Freshman Rebecca Armstrong has a team-leading three assists.

For Muhlenberg to win ...: “We really need to put a lot of pressure on the ball and not let them have open shots,” says junior back Katy Hawkins. “And we need to score. If we can put it in the back of the net early, I think we’ll be all right.”

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Who: Muhlenberg (4-1, 1-0) at Gettysburg (6-1, 1-0)
What: A meeting between the two teams that tied for second place in the Centennial Conference in 2000 and two of the “Big Three” (along with Johns Hopkins) who have combined to win every CC men’s soccer championship.
When: Saturday, September 22, 1:00
Where: Gettysburg

Series Record: Muhlenberg has a 23-16-5 series lead and has not lost at Gettysburg in the regular season since 1993. Last year, the two teams split, with the Mules winning the regular-season meeting, 2-1, and the Bullets earning a 1-0 win in the ECAC Mid-Atlantic championship game.

Scouting the Bullets: Gettysburg, ranked fourth in the region, improved to 6-1 (its best start since 1998) with a 2-1 win at York on Wednesday. Sophomore Will Hohman – the brother of Muhlenberg assistant coach Johan Hohman – and senior Michael McLaughlin scored the goals, the first of the season for both. The Bullets’ lone loss, 6-0 to defending national champion Messiah, snapped a 33-match home unbeaten streak. Juniors Mike Bevilacqua and Michael Bruno are tied for the team lead with seven points apiece.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg, ranked fifth in the region, improved to 4-1 (its best start since 1997) with a 3-1 win at Moravian on Monday. Senior Chris Rowley recorded a goal and an assist for his first points of the season, while juniors Tom Hartey and David Vassilaros also netted goals. Vassilaros leads the team with three goals on the season. The Mules’ lone loss was 1-0 in overtime to unbeaten, 17th-ranked Drew.

For Muhlenberg to win ...: “I think we need to play like we did against Drew — good, smart soccer with a lot of intensity,” says junior back Quentin McDowell. “When you play against a good team, it usually comes down to heart and the will to win.”


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated September 21, 2001