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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, October 24, 2009

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Field hockey, football, volleyball

LIGHTNING CAN’T STOP WOMEN’S SOCCER
FROM CLINCHING PLAYOFF BERTH

Men’s Soccer Also Clinches Playoff Spot

After a wild 4-2 win at Haverford, the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team knows this much: it will have a shot at its first Centennial Conference championship since 2005.

The Mules built a 3-0 second-half lead against the Fords before being
Eric Miller
Miller’s goal was his third game winner of the year.
forced to stave off a late comeback in a game in which all the goals came in the final 25 minutes. The win clinched a playoff berth for Muhlenberg (10-3-1, 6-1), which has reached the CC playoffs every year since the tournament began in 2001.

Despite outshooting Haverford 11-1 and enjoying a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks in the first half, Muhlenberg could not get on the board until the 65th minute, when junior Tom Reilly banged in a rebound for his fourth goal of the season.

Three minutes later sophomore Cody Antonini continued his magical season by netting his 12th goal of the year off a feed from senior Eric Miller. A mere 32 seconds later, Antonini returned the favor, feeding Miller in the penalty area for a turn-and-shoot goal that staked the Mules to a 3-0 lead.

But the Fords (6-9, 1-6) fought back, first scoring after a scramble for a loose ball in the box in the 76th minute and then netting a goal three minutes later after a penalty kick hit the crossbar and came back into the box.

The Mule defense buckled down from there, allowing Haverford just two shots, neither of which went on goal, the rest of the game. Miller chipped a shot past the keeper from the 18 in the 84th minute for the insurance goal.

Muhlenberg is in sole posession of first place as it prepares for a showdown with No. 6 Swarthmore, which dropped from first after a tie with McDaniel, on Wednesday. (Johns Hopkins also dropped from first after tying Franklin & Marshall.) The game will be the Mules’ final road game of the season. They are unbeaten on the road in the 2009, with a record of 6-0-1.
Click here box score.

A strike of lightning may have temporarily suspended the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team’s game at Franklin & Marshall, but it couldn’t stop the Mules from striking again on the road.

Despite a 30-minute lightning delay midway through the first half and a slick, rain-soaked field, the Mules (10-5, 7-1) kept rolling, posting a 1-0 win at Franklin & Marshall (3-14, 1-8) to complete a perfect season on the road in Centennial Conference play and clinch a berth in the CC playoffs.

Prior to the delay, the two squads played in torrential downpour. The game was then suspended for 30 minutes after lightning flashed with 22:08 remaining in the first half. When the teams returned the rain had cleared but the field remained slick.

“There’s always the possibility of something like that affecting the game, but we didn’t let it slow us down,” said freshman Maggie Neary. “Balls were sliding through on the ground, so we just tried to play them over the top.”

Renee Dessimone
Dessimone’s goal lifted Muhlenberg to its fifth straight win.
Neary did just that on the lone goal of the game. In the 63rd minute she sent a high ball from midfield that bounced over a defender’s head near the top of the box. Sophomore Renee Dessimone fought off another defender for the loose ball and touched it over the charging keeper to put the Mules on top.

“We knew we just had to go strong against their defenders because they were playing tough,” said Dessimone. “I was just trying to shoot whenever I got a chance and hope to get it in.”

That mantra certainly was not lost on the rest of the Mules, who outshot the Diplomats 12-0 in the second half and 18-2 for the game.

The win not only gave the Mules a perfect 5-0 record on the road in the CC for the first time since 2001 and ensured a playoff berth, it also kept them tied for first place with two games – at home against Ursinus and Gettysburg next week – remaining in the season.

“It’s a great accomplishment being where we are, but we’re not letting it get to our head,” said Neary. “We want to keep that No. 1 spot.”
Click here box score.

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