Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, September 11, 2004
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Volleyball, Field Hockey Fall in Tournament Finales
Men’s Soccer Wins Big in Home Opener
Lauro Earns MVP Nod

Muhlenberg had to settle for a third-place finish after dropping two hard-fought matches in the Championship Bracket of the Buttermaker Tournament.

The Mules (4-4) fell to King’s, 3-1, early in the morning, then lost to FDU-Florham in five games in the delayed decisive match of the tournament.

The King’s match was tied 1-1 with Muhlenberg holding a 23-20 lead in the third game before the Monarchs took control. They won that game 30-25 and took the fourth by an identical score.

King’s was supposed to play FDU-Florham immediately following, but the Devils arrived more than an hour late due to a traffic delay. Rather than accept a forfeit, King’s elected to play the match, and FDU-Florham won in four.

The Mules won the first two games of their match with FDU, and had they won the third, they would have claimed the tournament championship. Muhlenberg cut an 18-10 deficit to 26-23 in the third game but could not get any closer, and FDU went on to win Games 4 and 5 as well to capture the title.

Junior Julie Lauro was named tournament MVP after notching 23 kills and 13 digs against King’s and 26 kills, 17 digs and four blocks against FDU. For the four tournament matches, she averaged 5.07 kills and 3.00 digs per game.

Sophomore Lauren Masem also had a solid tournament and recorded a career-high 11 kills to go along with 14 digs and five aces against King’s. Junior Mary Henning averaged 10.53 assists per game in the tournament.

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Montclair State scored off a penalty corner in the final minute of the first half to win the championship game of the Muhlenberg Invitational, 1-0.

The Mules (2-2) got a shot past the Red Hawk goalie early in the game, but a defensive save thwarted their best scoring chance. With the win, Montclair avenged a 3-2 loss to Muhlenberg last year when both teams were ranked in the top 10 in Division III.

Catholic came from behind to defeat Elizabethtown in the consolation game, 2-1.

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The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team tied a Mule Classic record for goals in breezing to a 6-0 win against Hunter in its first home game of the season.

The Mules (2-1) had a 32-1 advantage in shots, with the Hawks’ lone attempt coming late in the second half with most of the ’Berg starters long removed from the game. Muhlenberg also had a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Freshman Karim Assous made a splashy home debut, scoring his first career goal and assisting on three others. It was the first three-assist game by a Mule since 1997, when Todd Ervin – now an assistant coach with the Moravian team that lost to Stevens Tech, 3-1, in the first game of the tournament – accomplished the feat against Ursinus.

Junior James Henshaw contributed to three scores with two goals and an assist, and junior Ryan Smallwood netted his first career goal.

Muhlenberg, against SUNY New Paltz in 1998, and Roanoke, against Southern Maine in 2000, also scored six goals in a Mule Classic game.

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In a matchup of two teams ranked in the top 25 in Division III, No. 23 Scranton scored five minutes into the game and held on to defeat No. 20 Muhlenberg, 1-0, in the Mule Classic.

The result was eerily similar to the last meeting between the two teams, in the 2003 NCAA Tournament regional final. In that game, the Royals headed in a corner kick in the 11th minute and made it stand up through the rest of the evenly played game.

This time around, the goal came a little earlier, also on a headed corner kick. The teams went back and forth the rest of the way, but the Mules (2-1) could not put the ball in the net and fell to Scranton for the ninth straight time.

Muhlenberg will play Smith, a 6-2 winner against Roger Williams, in its second tournament game.

Click here for box score.

On a day when four Muhlenberg teams were hosting tournaments, the only championships were won by two teams that competed off-campus.

Both Mule cross country teams traveled to Westminster, Md., the site of this year’s Centennial Conference Championships, and won the McDaniel Invitational.

The first-place plaque was the first ever for the women’s team at an invitational away from home. To win it, Muhlenberg outran three other CC squads, defeating Gettysburg by a slim margin of three points. The Mules hadn’t finished ahead of the Bullets since the 1998 NCAA regional.

Muhlenberg’s top two runners, senior Jenna Belisonzi and junior Karen Mount, each finished a place behind a Gettysburg runner, but the Mules made up those points with their third through fifth runners. Freshmen Laura Clinton (ninth) and Sara Gearin (11th) and junior Christy Grandjean (15th) all finished in the top 15, each one or two spots ahead of their corresponding Gettysburg runner.

Belisonzi’s third-place finish was a career best.

The men had an easier time of it, placing seven runners in the top 14 to take first place by a 34-61 margin. Junior Alexander Hotz came in second for his eighth career top-10 finish, one place ahead of sophomore Stephen Rothwell. Sophomore Lex Mercado was sixth.

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Last updated September 11, 2004