Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, September 5, 2002
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Seven soccer games, 12 volleyball matches, a field hockey game and a football game ... it all adds up to an action-packed weekend of sports at Muhlenberg. The competition begins on Friday at 2:00 and runs through Sunday night’s men’s soccer match. Below is a preview of the weekend’s activities.


The football team, which has been on campus the longest, will be the last of the Muhlenberg fall sports teams to begin competition.

Who: Muhlenberg (7-4 in 2001) vs. Kings Point (4-5)
What: The season opener for both teams
When: Saturday, 2:00
Where: Scotty Wood Stadium
Radio: Jon Eddy and Mike Loughlin will call the game live on WMUH 91.7 FM. To listen in, click here.

Series History: Muhlenberg has defeated Kings Point in the last three season openers by a combined score of 118-51 to take a 3-1-1 series lead. Last year, the Mules scored on all six of their first-half possessions en route to a 42-17 win.

Scouting the Mariners: Kings Point returns 36 letterwinners from a team that tied for second place in the Freedom Football Conference last year. The Mariner offense will be headed by junior Dan Circelli at quarterback. He was named to the All-FFC first team in 2001 after leading the league in total offense with 187.0 yards per game. Circelli will be throwing to some new targets, as the top two receivers, one of whom was FFC offensive player of the year, graduated. Junior David McNeal, the team’s leading ground gainer last year with 583 yards, will be running behind a line that returns four starters. Junior tackle Kyle Franklin (49 tackles, 12 for loss) is the lone returning all-star on a defense that allowed only 299.6 yards and 21.4 points per game last year.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg welcomes back 33 letterwinners from a 2001 team that tied for the Centennial Conference championship. The Mules boasted one of the top defensive units in Division III last year, ranking among the national leaders in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Senior linebacker Beau Sherry, a unanimous first-team All-CC selection, is the only returning player among the top five tacklers. Seniors Tyler Cathey (defensive tackle) and Jordan Wright (cornerback) also earned All-CC honors. Headliners on offense include junior running back Matt Bernardo, senior quarterback Justin Jones and senior wide receiver Alfredo Mercuri. Bernardo rushed for 1,038 yards and a school-record 19 touchdowns; Jones threw for 1,519 yards in his first season as a starter and set a school record for quarterbacks with eight rushing touchdowns; and Mercuri caught 29 passes for an 18.2-yard average.

Volleyball, Soccer Host Tournaments

• Volleyball: Muhlenberg is an all-time 17-0 in Buttermaker Tournament matches and won the first four championships. Things could be a little more difficult this year, as an improved tournament field includes King’s, which went 29-4 last year and was ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the AVCA preseason poll. The Lady Monarchs are off to a 5-0 start this year. Also new to the tournament is Susquehanna, whose 23-8 record in 2001 included a sweep of the Mules. Arcadia (19-10), Misericordia (7-17) and SUNY Farmingdale (15-18) round out the field. Each team will play four matches, with the trophy going to the team with the best record. Friday, 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00; Saturday, 9:00, 11:00 and 1:00.

• Women’s Soccer: The Kwik Goal/T.G.I.Friday’s Classic features an outstanding field of four teams that combined for a 59-20-3 record last year. Muhlenberg (19-3 in 2001) is looking to win the championship for the first time in five tries. Scranton (17-4-1), ranked seventh in the Mid-Atlantic Region and an NCAA quarterfinalist last year, won the tourney in 1998 and 2001 and was runner-up in 2000. Centennial Conference rival Gettysburg (12-7), which will not play the Mules this weekend, is currently ranked third in the region and 18th in Division III. Richard Stockton (11-6-2) rounds out the field. Friday, 2:00 and 7:00; Saturday, 12:00 and 5:00.

• Men’s Soccer: The 12th men’s Kwik Goal/T.G.I.Friday’s Classic has a local flavor, as Muhlenberg, DeSales and Moravian will play each other. All three teams had at least 12 wins last year and are off to good starts in 2002. The Mules are 2-0 and ranked sixth in the region, DeSales is 1-0 and Moravian is 0-1-1, with a 2-1 overtime loss to 19th-ranked Drew and a scoreless tie against New Jersey. Friday, 4:00; Saturday, 7:00; Sunday, 6:00.

• Field Hockey: Muhlenberg will look to win its second straight home game against a Frostburg State team that scored 12 goals in winning its first two games. Friday, 7:00.

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Last updated September 5, 2002