Wednesday, November 1, 2006
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Mens Soccer Eliminated in Shootout
Muhlenberg experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum in its Centennial Conference playoff game at Gettysburg, losing on penalty kicks, 8-7, after tying the score in the last 20 seconds of regulation.
The Bullets (10-5-3) advance to the semifinals to face top-seeded Johns Hopkins a team they beat in penalty kicks in the first round last year. The Mules end their season with a record of 8-4-4.
Gettysburg scored with 10:32 left in the first half and was on its way to a 1-0 win when its goalie plucked a cross out of the air in the last minute of the second half. He was called for stalling, however, and Muhlenberg was awarded a free kick from just outside the box. Junior Jonathan Kliewer sent the ball across the box to the left post, where sophomore Brendan Carroll headed it in with just 20 seconds on the clock.
The Mules played four 1-1 ties this year, and in three of them they trailed 1-0 before scoring in the second half.
Two overtime periods produced no further goals, and the game went to penalty kicks. Junior Peter Bennett made a save in the second round, diving to his left to block the low shot with both hands. Muhlenberg maintained the lead and had a chance to win on its fifth kick, but the Gettysburg goalie stopped the PK.
The teams went through three sudden-death rounds with both players making their kicks. The Bullets finally won in the ninth round.
Of the four times the Mules have been eliminated from the CC playoffs, three times it was on penalty kicks. The other was in double overtime.
The new kids on the postseason block knocked off the old veterans when the
Muhlenberg field hockey team defeated Gettysburg, 1-0, in the first round
of the Centennial Conference playoffs.
The Bullets (10-8) have played in three CC championship games, one NCAA Tournament and one ECAC Tournament since the Mules (12-6) made their last postseason appearance in 2000. The postseason win was the first for Muhlenberg since a 2-1 defeat of Haverford in the 1992
The Mules advance to the semifinals to face nationally ranked Ursinus, the top seed, on Saturday.
In a game that was relatively free of good scoring chances for either side, Muhlenberg made the most of a flurry midway through the second half. The scoring sequence started when junior Jillian Duffy took a high, hard shot from the right of the cage that was saved out of bounds. On the ensuing long hit, the Mules won a penalty corner.
Nikki Rhoads shot was blocked in front, but Muhlenberg got another corner. Again Rhoads took a blast, and this time it was deflected outside the circle to sophomore Alyssa Sheldon on the left wing. Her cross through the mass of players found senior Jessica Hand at the right post for a tipin with 18:17 showing on the clock.
The Mules made the goal stand up, as senior Lauren Schram made two of her three saves the rest of the way in notching her 19th career shutout.
Muhlenberg almost didnt make it to halftime tied at zero. With about five minutes left, Gettysburg had a goal disallowed when the officials ruled that the ball did not touch a Bullet stick inside the circle. Two minutes later, a Gettysburg player found the back of the cage from just outside the circle.
It was very scary at first, said senior Kate Moyer. They had a lot of good chances and put pressure on us. Luckily we stayed together.
The Mules set a school record with their ninth home win of the season. Hands goal gave the team 44 for the season, tying for the second-most in program history behind the 55 scored by the 1965 squad.
Im just glad we get to keep playing, said Hand, one of five Muhlenberg seniors. Im not ready for it to be over.
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Last updated November 1, 2006