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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, August 31, 2008

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late triple lifts women’s soccer to win

It was another Sunday Special for the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team at Kean, where no leads are safe and the result is always in doubt until the final horn sounds.

The Mules scored three goals in a span of 5:10, all with less than eight minutes to play, to come from behind and beat Kean, 4-2, in the final game of the Cougar Classic.

Muhlenberg opens every year in Kean’s
Meghan O’Grady
O’Grady slides the ball past Kean goalie Leandra Russo for the tying goal.
tournament and has played thrillers in the Sunday game the last three years. In 2006, the Mules scored three times in a 7:49 span in the final 15 minutes to stun Gwynedd-Mercy, 3-2. Last year, Kean overcame a 2-0 deficit and netted a goal with 4 seconds left to achieve a 3-3 tie.

“I honestly can’t explain it,” said junior back Samantha Hoffman of the close games. “Both teams are very compatible with each other. We both came to play today and it was just a matter of who wanted it more at the end.”

This time it was Muhlenberg’s turn to come back after the Cougars scored a goal just 3:27 into the game. Freshman Renee Dessimone tied the tally with her fourth goal in two games with 6:06 left in the first half.

Kean went ahead again with 23:55 showing on the game clock and appeared to be in control, taking six more shots, one of
Lauren Petri
It was a hairy game even without Lauren Petri’s long ponytail.
which hit the crossbar, in the next 11 minutes.

“That’s where being a team comes in,” said Hoffman. “We have enough faith in each other to push each other through the times when it’s rough, when we’re tired, when it’s hot, and make sure our heads stay in it.”

The tide began to turn in the final 10 minutes as the Mules fired off four shots in quick succession, tying the score on freshman Meghan O’Grady’s first career goal with 7:22 left.

Less than five minutes later, freshman Nicolette Miller was taken down in the box and converted the penalty kick to give Muhlenberg its first lead of the day.

With thoughts of last year’s game in their heads, the Mules knew they needed an insurance goal, and they got it when junior Kasey Hacker scored her first goal of the season with 2:12 to play.

The late surge gave the Mules four goals for the second game in a row – the first time they’ve scored four times in consecutive games since 1998 and the first time in the 18-year history of the program they’ve started a season with back-to-back four-goal efforts.

The increased offense is a team effort, according to Hoffman. “It basically comes from everyone on the field from the goalkeeper on up,” she said. “If the goalie isn’t stopping the ball and the backs aren’t passing it up through the midfielders, the forwards never get to touch it. So it’s not just the forwards scoring all the goals, it’s the whole team.”
Click here for box score.

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