Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Sunday, September 3, 2006
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Brandon Doyle Sophomore Brandon Doyle of the Muhlenberg football team has been named special teams player of the week by the Centennial Conference.

Doyle took a handoff on the opening kickoff of the season and raced 94 yards for a touchdown to give the Mules a lead they would never relinquish in their season-opening 24-14 win against The College of New Jersey. It was the first career kickoff return for Doyle, who also started at cornerback, recording three tackles and a pass breakup.

Doyle’s return marked the second time in the last 23 years that Muhlenberg brought back the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown, and the other time it also was in the season opener: Joshua Carter accomplished the feat in 1999 for the first of his three kickoff returns that year.

The Mules have returned eight kickoffs for touchdowns since the start of the 1999 season. They ranked 13th in Division III in kickoff returns last year.

Senior Mallory DiMaio began and finished a stunning comeback in her Muhlenberg debut as the women’s soccer team defeated Gwynedd-Mercy, 3-2, in its 2006 season
DiMaio (also pictured below) and Hacker (25) celebrate after the game-winning goal.
opener at Kean.

The Mules trailed, 2-0, after the Griffins scored off a giveaway with 15:41 remaining, but scored three goals in a span of 7:49 to pull out the win.

Muhlenberg had overcome a two-goal deficit in the second half only once before since the start of the program in 1991 (a 4-3 overtime win against Gettysburg in 2001). But in that game, the Mules scored early in the second half, so they trailed by one goal for most of the second 45.

“We knew we were playing well and outshooting them,” said senior Andrea Dello Russo. “We knew it would come if we kept working at it.”

Dello Russo got the ball rolling by serving a free kick into the penalty box for DiMaio to head in at the 75:35 mark. With exactly 10 minutes on the clock, freshman Christina O’Grady crossed to classmate Kasey Hacker for Mallory DiMaio the tying goal. DiMaio’s game-winner came on a blast from inside the box that deflected off a Gwynedd-Mercy defender.

The three-goal barrage was the fastest for the Mules since they netted three in 7:26 in a 5-1 win against Dickinson in 1997.

DiMaio, O’Grady and Hacker were three of the six newcomers in the Muhlenberg starting lineup. In all, 10 newcomers played and helped make a difference for a Mule team that had great difficulty in the second half of close games last year.

“It is definitely refreshing to know that we have a team that won’t give up and has the talent to win games,” said Dello Russo.

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Last updated September 3, 2006