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Muhlenberg College

Friday, August 31, 2007 - page 2

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FIELD HOCKEY CLUBS MARLINS

Just three weeks after going under the knife, Nicki Notarianni carved up the Virginia Wesleyan defense.

Sporting a cast that ran from her hand to her elbow on her right arm, Notarianni scored two goals as the Muhlenberg field hockey team opened the 2007 season with a 3-0 win in the first round of the Mule Classic.

“I was playing
Kristen Sabia
Sabia recorded her first career assist in her first career start.
field hockey in a summer league and I tore ligaments in my hand,” she explained. “I rushed the surgery and missed our trip to Argentina so I could be back for preseason.”

Of the club on her arm, Notarianni said, “I kind of forget that it’s there. I broke my arm senior year of high school and played with a cast, so I’m kind of used to it. I have to be more conscious of my hits because it’s hard to get a good grip.”

Notarianni seemed to have no trouble getting a grip against the Marlins, and she got lots of help from senior Kelly Shetron, playing in her return to the Mules after studying abroad last fall. Notarianni converted a pass from Shetron just 4:03 into the game following a flurry in front of the cage.

With 9:21 left in the half, Shetron beat the VWC goalie on the left side and fired across the cage to Notarianni, who deflected the ball in. The scoring play began when freshman Chessie Martinez, just inserted into the game, made a nice pass to Shetron the first time she touched the ball.

In between, Muhlenberg used some fancy passing to take a 2-0 lead. Senior Lauren Rutt snaked her way between two defenders, then passed to sophomore Kristen Sabia, who in turn pass to an open Shetron at the left post.

The defense, which included two juniors – Kristin Garbutt and goalie Michelle Consiglio – who were making their first career start, did the rest, holding Virginia Wesleyan to one shot.

The Mules will face a tough test in the second round of the Mule Classic when they challenge 15th-ranked Elizabethtown, a 3-0 winner against Misericordia.

“We haven’t played a lot of 11-on-11 because our team is small, but our connections were good and we communicated well. This was a good way to start the season,” Notarianni concluded.

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