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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - page 2

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The clash between the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team and No. 6 Swarthmore featured the two highest-scoring offenses in the Centennial Conference, but neither side could find the back of the net.

The first-place Mules and second-place Garnet played to a 0-0 draw in a back-and-forth battle that featured plenty of chances for both sides. With the tie and Johns Hopkins’ loss to Gettysburg, Muhlenberg can
Jason Daniels
Daniels has a 0.49 goals-against average in his last 12 games.
clinch homefield in the playoffs with a win at home against Ursinus on Saturday. The Mules (10-3-2, 6-1-1) have 19 points, one ahead of Dickinson, two ahead of Swarthmore and three ahead of Hopkins.

“The result was bittersweet,” said senior Eric Miller. “The tie ended up being good, but we really wanted to win.”

The Mules looked in trouble early, as Swarthmore (13-1-2, 5-1-2) came out of the gate flying
Mules Up to Fourth in Region

The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team moved up to No. 4 in the second NCAA regional rankings of the season. The rankings were released prior to Wednesday’s games.

These rankings, and not the national polls, are the ones used to determine at-large bids and seedings for the NCAA Tournament.

The rankings, with overall and in-region records through Saturday’s games:
1. Messiah (15-1/11-1)
2. Swarthmore (13-1-1/12-1-1)
3. Johns Hopkins (12-2-3/10-1-3)
4. Muhlenberg (10-3-1/10-3-1)
5. Merchant Marine (15-2/15-2)
6. Dickinson (11-3-1/10-3-1)
7. Catholic (12-3-1/12-3-1)

and nearly took the lead in the fourth minute. A Garnet shot from just outside the 18 hit the underside of the crossbar, and just a few seconds later junior goalie Jason Daniels made a great diving save to his right to keep things even.

The Mules’ best chance of the first half came with just under nine minutes to play, when Miller intercepted a low goal kick and found junior Tom Reilly cutting in the middle of the field near the top of the box. But Reilly’s shot was stopped by the charging Garnet keeper.

After adjusting to the faster Swarthmore field, the Mules kept the ball in the Garnet end for much of the second half. Two Mule headers off of free kicks, including one with less than a minute to go, nearly resulted in goals, but one was turned away by the keeper and the other went just over the crossbar.

“In the second half, once we adjusted to the field and the nerves settled in, we played our game,” said Miller.

Swarthmore had the best chance in the overtimes, hitting the post on a short-side shot in the first extra period.

Daniels made six saves in the game, recording his fifth shutout of the season. Though a draw was not the result he and the rest of the Mules wanted, it was enough to keep them in the driver’s seat on Saturday for the right to host the playoffs.

“We want it,” said Miller. “It would be really nice to bring the tournament back to Allentown.”
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