Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, September 30, 2004
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There’s no debating the fact that this is an important weekend in Muhlenberg sports. Five teams will look for plenty of support from alums as they take on Centennial Conference opponents.

Friday Night: Field Hockey

The Muhlenberg field hockey team kicks off the Homecoming weekend athletic schedule with a 7:00 game against Johns Hopkins.

Revenge has been a big theme in this rivalry the last couple of years. In 2002, the Blue Jays were ranked 20th in Division III and in first place in the CC when they came to Allentown and suffered a 2-0 loss.

Hopkins turned the tables last year with a 1-0 win against a Mule team ranked 11th in Division III.

Neither team is nationally ranked this time around. Muhlenberg is 6-3 overall, 1-1 in the CC, and is coming off its most decisive performance of the year, a 5-0 whitewashing of Haverford on Wednesday.

Johns Hopkins, the defending CC champion and the favorite in the preseason poll, has struggled so far. The Blue Jays are 2-6 and have been outscored 16-2 in dropping their last four games. Included in that skid is a 3-0 loss to Gettysburg in JHU’s first CC game of the year.

Saturday: Football, Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer

• Football (1:00): One of three games to open the 2004 CC football season pairs the sixth-ranked defense in Division III (Muhlenberg’s) with the 19th-ranked passing offense in Division III (Franklin & Marshall’s).

The game will be broadcast live on WMUH and televised later in the day by Service Electric TV2.

The Mules, off to a 3-0 start for the fourth time in six years, have allowed only 179.3 yards per game and four offensive touchdowns in three games. Three of the TDs came on passes in the Union game, and the Muhlenberg secondary will be put to the test by a Diplomat attack that averages 279.8 yards through the air per game.

Franklin & Marshall was 3-0 until suffering a 31-14 loss to Carnegie Mellon last week.

Muhlenberg has won the last five meetings with the Diplomats, averaging 48.2 points per game.

• Volleyball (1:00): Muhlenberg (6-10, 0-2) is in dire need of a CC win and will try to pull one off against a Johns Hopkins team that was picked second in the preseason poll.

The Blue Jays (7-9, 1-2) are looking to rebound themselves after consecutive CC losses to perennial contenders Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg.

Johns Hopkins leads the series, 8-4, and has won the last two meetings. The 2002 match at Muhlenberg went to five games.

• Women’s Soccer (2:00): Two regionally ranked teams coming off big wins square off in a key CC match.

Haverford (7-1, 2-0) is ranked sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Region and defeated Johns Hopkins, third in the region and 20th in Division III, 5-2 on Thursday. Muhlenberg (5-3, 2-1), eighth in the region, lost to Johns Hopkins 3-0 last Saturday but bounced back to blank Swarthmore by the same score on Thursday.

If history is any indication, this will be a close match. The last 11 meetings between the Fords and Mules were all decided by one goal. Muhlenberg has won the last five, four by a 1-0 count.

• Men’s Soccer (7:00): Defending CC champion Muhlenberg is in a bit of a hole following Wednesday’s loss to Franklin & Marshall and will have no easy task climbing out of it.

McDaniel (5-4, 2-1) made the CC playoffs last year and has the reigning CC player of the year back. The Green Terror has the top scoring offense in the CC, averaging 2.78 goals per game, but also has allowed the second-most goals in the league.

Muhlenberg (3-4-1, 1-2) hopes home cooking is more to its suiting. The Mules haven’t played at Varsity Field, where they are 43-5-1 in CC regular-season games, since Sept. 12.

The Mules defeated McDaniel each of the last two years and lead the series, 24-7.

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Last updated September 30, 2004