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Muhlenberg College

Friday, September 5, 2008

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No place like home for field hockey

Homecoming came three weeks early for the Muhlenberg field hockey team.

After dividing time among three area fields while waiting for the resurfacing of Frank Marino Field to be finished, the Mules finally got to play at home when they hosted Hartwick in the first game on the new turf.

And Muhlenberg inaugurated the field in style, getting a late goal from sophomore
Shelby Smith
Freshman Shelby Smith battles a Hartwick player for the ball. Smith’s long pass up the field led to Muhlenberg’s long run of penalty corners in the second half.
Jess Kasza to defeat the Hawks, 2-1, and pick up their first win of the season.

“It was nice to finally be home,” said senior Cara Rothacker, who scored her first career point in the game. “We got a good practice on it yesterday, and I think we’ll get better as we get used to it. There are definitely some big adjustments we have to make.”

Despite the close final, the Mules dominated for most of the game against a Hartwick team that was picked to win its league. They scored just 5:04 into the game when junior Kristen Sabia took a pass from Rothacker on the right side and shot the ball inside the left post.

The score remained 1-0 until the Hawks scored with 2:04 on the first-half clock.

Muhlenberg had plenty of chances to take the lead in the second half, winning 12 penalty corners. They had seven consecutive corners in one five-minute span but came away empty.

“We definitely need to capitalize on them,” said Rothacker. “The ball comes out slower [than on the old turf], so we have to cut harder and be stronger. Continuing to practice on this new surface, in time we’ll get it.”

The Mules “got it” on their 11th corner of the half, when junior Tara Cohn passed Sabia’s insertion off to Kasza on her left, and the sophomore shot the ball in for her first career goal.

Muhlenberg had a 10-1 advantage in shots in the second half, allowing Hartwick little possession on its half of the field.

Not a bad way to break in a new carpet.
Click here for box score.

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