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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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Women’s soccer Cross Country

Season Preview
Men’s soccer looks to bowl over opponents

One characteristic of good teams is that they are able to win even when everyone on the field isn’t at his best. Players pick up the slack for their teammates and the ultimate goal is reached.

The 2008 Muhlenberg men’s soccer team has already displayed that characteristic. Well, at least the senior class has.

At the Mules’ preseason bowling tournament, the seniors
Andrew Brick
The Mules have recorded 12 shutouts and allowed only 15 goals in Brick’s 22 career starts.
beat out the other three classes even though one of them bowled a 66. His defense – “every pin counts” – has become a humorous motto for the team.

On the soccer field, Muhlenberg possesses other characteristics – depth, experience, cohesiveness – that point to a strong season. The Mules, who tied for the Centennial Conference regular-season title and earned their 13th NCAA Tournament bid in 19 years last fall, open up with home matches against William Paterson and Neumann tomorrow and Saturday.

Said senior midfielder Steven Tenenzapf, “We have a lot of senior experience, we’re a real tight bunch – expectations are really high.”

Tenenzapf is one of seven seniors on the squad, and all are key players
Brendan Carroll
Carroll enters his senior season with 17 career points and a knack for scoring in big games.
who could start. Six of the seven have logged considerable minutes the last three years; the one exception is Joseph Gogel, who steps into the starting goalie position after waiting patiently behind an All-American.

“You could see it in practices: We always said we had two of the top two or three goalies in the conference. That’s how good Joe is,” said Tenenzapf of Gogel, who has played in only seven games, starting one. “He has really stepped up as a leader. He knows this is his year to shine, and he’s going to take advantage of it. I have all the confidence that’s he’s going to step in and do the job.”

Making that job easier is an experienced back four that helped Muhlenberg allow only seven goals and record 10 shutouts in 15 regular-season games last year. Seniors A.J. Barnold and Andrew Brick and junior co-captains Samuel Hayden will all be in their third year in the starting lineup, and sophomore Matthew Cecconi started three games near the end of last season.

Senior co-captains and center midfielders Billy Dalton and Greg Leischner both earned All-CC honorable mention last year. Dalton, a third-year captain, leads all active Mules with 24 career points, and Leischner makes up for his bowling deficiencies with good field sense and ball movement.

Tenenzapf (1 goals, 2 assists last year) and sophomore Evan Rubin (2 goals) give Muhlenberg outstanding quickness on the flanks.

Up front, Muhlenberg will try to prove on an attack that was productive but hardly high-powered in 2007. The Mules were shut out only once all season but scored more than two goals on only three occasions

“A lot of our forwards were younger, and we’ve added two players who will help with the scoring,” remarked Tenenzapf. “We just feel that scoring won’t be an issue.”

Junior Eric Miller led the team in scoring with 16 points (7 goals, 2 assists), and senior Brendan Carroll (2 goals, 3 assists) and junior Adison Weseloh (4 goals, 1 assist) also provide offensive punch.

As usual, Muhlenberg will play a challenging schedule that includes five 2007 NCAA Tournament teams (New York University, Franklin & Marshall, Dickinson, Johns Hopkins and DeSales) in a nine-game stretch. The Mules’ conference opener is at home against Franklin & Marshall – ranked 21st in the Division III preseason poll – on September 20.

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