The Muhlenberg mens soccer team has excelled defensively for years.
The Mules added
some offense this year and reaped the benefits: a 9-0 Centennial
Conference season, a conference championship and a trip to the NCAA
Always a tough defender, Smallwood began putting up
numbers when he moved
from the back line to the midfield.
Muhlenberg started and ended its perfect CC campaign with wins over
defending champion Johns Hopkins. The Mules dominated the then-No. 8 Blue
Jays in a 3-1 win Sept. 20 at Varsity Field, then beat them, 2-1, on the
same field Nov. 8 to win the conference tournament.
In between, the Mules were dominant, outscoring their CC opponents, 32-4,
in regular-season and playoff games. In the NCAAs, Muhlenberg got past
Gordon in a shootout and lost to sixth-ranked Stevens Tech to finish
17-5-1 overall. Four of the squads losses came to NCAA tournament or
nationally ranked teams. The Mules were ranked as high as 16th during the
season and received votes in the final national poll.
Senior Evan Smallwood became the eighth Mule ever and first since 1995 to
earn All-America honors. He
led the offensive charge, scoring 11 goals and
adding nine assists for 31 points. He kept alive the Mule season with a
game-winning free kick in the CC final, then again with game-tying and
shootout-winning penalty kicks against Gordon.
Henning earned Academic All-America honors and received
the Garrettson award for his accomplishments on and off the field.
Sophomore James Henshaw also scored 11, five of which were game-winners.
Junior Nick Richardson and sophomore Jose Ramirez scored nine and eight
Smallwood, Henshaw and Ramirez all made the
all-conference and all-region first teams.
Senior Justin Marx, who had seven points despite being limited by injury
to 14 games played, earned second-team All-CC honors. All together, 14
different Mules accounted for 58 goals.
Muhlenberg did not forget the key to its past success. Its defense was as
excellent as usual. The Mules allowed only 16 goals in their 23 games and
shut out 12 opponents. Junior Chris Davis recorded six shutouts and made
49 saves. His already minuscule goals-against average shrank to 0.26 in CC
play, where he had four shutouts. Davis, senior captain Justin Henning and
sophomore Adam Milberg represented the Mule defensive unit on the All-CC