Muhlenberg College
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1998 Fall Sports Update

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Season Previews

News and notes about Muhlenberg athletics
The big news at Muhlenberg over the summer is the construction of a new lighted stadium with an AstroTurf field and eight-lane, all-weather track. Click here for photos.

On July 13, the Centennial Conference announced the addition of Washington & Lee University of Lexington, Va., asW & La two-year associate member in the sport of wrestling. W&L, the lone Division III wrestling school in the state of Virginia, joins Muhlenberg, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins, Swarthmore, Ursinus and Western Maryland to give the CC seven wrestling schools.

Jason Brader Senior running back Jason Brader has been named to the Division III All-America team by Street & Smith's College Football preview magazine. Brader, who ranked 12th in Division III in rushing yards per game (140.6) last year, was paired with Brian Thompson of 1997 NCAA runner-up Lycoming in the backfield. He is the Mules' first preseason All-American since Rob Lokerson in 1994. The magazine also tabbed Centennial Conference foe Western Maryland to win the national championship.

Muhlenberg recently added five members to its athletic staff for the 1998-99. Jennifer Becker was hired as a full-time assistant to athletic trainer Steve Nemes. A certified athletic trainer, Becker graduated from Salisbury State University and earned her master's in nutritional sciences from the University of Connecticut. Joining Mike Donnelly's football staff as assistant coaches are Ray Gionta (linebackers), Joe Henrich (defensive line), Shawn Jones (defensive backs) and Brett Sawyer (linebackers). Gionta coached St. James High School to three straight Philadelphia Catholic League playoff appearances in the early 1990s and was head coach at Boyertown High School the last three seasons. Henrich was defensive coordinator at Western Connecticut State University last season, where his troops ranked 24th in Division III in passing defense and 26th in total defense. Jones was an All-America defensive back and return specialist at Kutztown University and spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Albright College. Sawyer was the starting center and a first-team All-Centennial Conference selection for Muhlenberg in 1997.
Cross Country
William McElroy In 1997, the men's cross country team had the experience and the women's team the youth. This fall, it will be the other way around. The women return everyone from a team that posted its best Centennial Conference finish ever (fifth) and matched its best NCAA Mideast Regional finish (12th). Sophomore Laura Roth, a second-team All-Region freshman last year, and junior Elissa Murphy should lead the way. Seniors Katy duFosse and Jaclynn Miners will serve as captains. The men will look to senior Matthew Hayn and junior William McElroy (right) to lead a team that lost five of eight letterwinners to graduation.

Field Hockey
Becky Pierotti The 1998 field hockey season will begin with a lot of promise and the excitement that comes from playing on a new turf field. The Mules graduated three starters from last year's 6-11 team, which consistently played well but scored only 17 goals in 17 games and lost eight games by one goal. Among the returnees are two All-Conference selections, junior Becky Pierotti (left) on offense and sophomore Carole Caine on defense, and record-setting sophomore goalie Allison Neet. Juniors Beth Hughes and Peach Reigle join Pierotti as captains.

Muhlenberg's 1-9 record of a year ago was as frustrating as the team's play was encouraging: Five of the Mules' nine losses were by a touchdown or less. For the second straight season, the offense will revolve around ECAC South Rookie of the Year Jason Brader. In his first year with the Mules, he set school records for rushing (1,406) and all-purpose (1,768) yards and scored 13 of the team's 27 touchdowns. Kevin CannonBrader will have a different cast in front of him, as the fullback, tight end, quarterback and three offensive linemen graduated. Both starting receivers -- senior Kevin Cannon (right; 62 catches, 780 yards) and junior Chuck Draper (34 catches, 440 yards) return from a high-powered offense that averaged more than 400 yards a game in 1997. The defense will also need some reworking following the graduation of five of the top seven tacklers. Junior Ken Rayhon (65 tackles, 3 sacks) and senior Patrick Boyle (46 tackles) are the only returning starters at defensive line and linebacker, respectively. Sophomore free safety Mwaura Muroki (97 tackles, 7 pass breakups, 2 interceptions) leads a youthful secondary. Brader, offensive guard Patrick Shelley and defensive tackle Frank Marrero are the team's captains.

Men's Soccer
Johan Hohman Coach Jeff Tipping faces a major challenge after bidding farewell to a group of eight seniors that was 60-13-10 (.783) in its four years, made four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and won three Centennial Conference champions. In 1997, the Mules finished with a record of 16-5-1 and advanced to the round of 16. Their 1998 schedule features six other NCAA Tournament teams. Junior captain Johan Hohman (left) is the only returning All-Conference player. He earned second-team honors after scoring 11 goals, including four in one game.

Women's Soccer
Women's soccer established itself as a team to watch by ending 1997 on a roll. Muhlenberg won its final seven matches to finish with a 10-6-2 record that included three road wins against regionally ranked foes. Jackie VanderstreetBoth of the Mules' captains were record-setters, Celina Boer for most goals in a season (14) and Jackie Vanderstreet (right) for lowest goals-against average (0.96). Boer was second-team All-Region and third-team Academic All-America. Sophomore Jen Sands also made a dent on the record books in her rookie season, recording nine assists to go along with seven goals.

Kimberly Maurer It's Year 1 A.B. for the volleyball program -- After (Lauren) Buyyounouski, the four-time All-Conference hitter who set 20 school records. Fortunately, it's Year 4 in the program for middle blockers Meredith Cole and Kristen Conboy, defensive specialist Kimberly Maurer (left) and outside hitter Jen Morgan, who remain at the core of the team. Junior Allison Verduin is poised to step into the spotlight after averaging 3.0 kills for last year's 15-10 team.

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Last updated July 13, 1998