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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, September 8, 2007

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Men’s soccer Field hockey, volleyball

Women’s Soccer Closes Out Cougars

The ability to close out games is essential to baseball teams in the pennant race this time of year, and it also has become a top priority for the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team.

After two games in which they allowed late goals that turned wins into ties, the Mules got their bullpen in order and held off Misericordia, 3-1, in the second round of the Mule Classic.

“The last five minutes have been a little
Christine Schaefer
Sophomore Christine Schaefer passes the ball with two Misericordia players closing in.
bit of a struggle for us,” said sophomore Christina O’Grady, whose two assists helped Muhlenberg (2-0-2) forge an early lead. “We have to keep our heads in the game and keep going. We did a good job with that today.”

Not that it was without some drama. Ahead 2-0, the Mules saw their lead sliced in half when the Cougars scored with 3:26 remaining. But that was as close as they would get, and Muhlenberg even added an insurance score with 37 seconds left when freshman Christine Van Hise stole a pass and fed classmate Rachael Goldstein for a 1-on-1 with the goalie, which Goldstein converted with a ground shot for her first career goal.

Freshman Valerie Patriarca scored the Mules’ first two goals, her second multiple-goal game in four contests this season. With five minutes left in the first half, O’Grady made a run down the left flank and made a nifty cross for Patriarca that went untouched. Sophomore Kimberly Hacker saved the ball on the right side and fed it back in, and this time O’Grady found Patriarca for a short-range knock-in.

Muhlenberg was on the defensive for most of the second half but converted one of its few chances midway through the period. Sophomore Kasey Hacker sprung O’Grady on a breakaway with a long clearing pass. O’Grady settled the ball wide of the box, then centered the ball to Patriarca for a 20-yard blast to the back of the net.

The Mules were able to maintain the shutout until the very end thanks to the efforts of sophomore Kate Morrissey, who made a career-high seven saves, and senior Maura Hendsey, who cleared away a sure goal with less than 11 minutes left.

Muhlenberg is undefeated through four games for the first time since 1991, the first year of the program. The Mules went 1-0-1 at the Mule Classic against two teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year.

“If we keep building on what we’ve done, we can have a good season,” said O’Grady.

Click here for box score.

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