Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Monday, March 6, 2006
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Held out of the starting lineup for the first time in her career due to a stomach ailment, senior Courtney Tapkas helped provide the remedy for a slow-starting Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team in its 11-8 win
Courtney Tapkas
Tapkas lines up her first goal of the game.
against Susquehanna at Wellington, Fla.

Tapkas, who sat out the first 15 minutes, scored on all five of her shots to key a run of eight consecutive goals by the Mules, who are 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 1991.

“It was a little frustrating not being out there for the start,” admitted Tapkas, the program’s all-time scoring leader. “But [waiting on the bench] pumps you up.”

Muhlenberg needed some pumping up after falling into a 3-1 hole 11 minutes into the game. Freshman Ruth Morrongiello converted a free-position opportunity to cut the deficit in half, and Tapkas put the Mules ahead for good by scoring her first two goals 2:03 apart, both coming on passes from classmate Shannon Donohue immediately after the Crusaders (0-1) turned the ball over in their end.

“You always want to capitalize on those turnovers,” said Tapkas. “Shannon and I have a good read for each other; we’ve been playing together for four years. We work on those plays all the time.”

Tapkas added two goals in the final 2:23 of the first half, then took a pass from sophomore Taylor Armstrong and scored from a difficult
Kelly Sakonchick
Junior Kelli Sakonchick caused two turnovers and picked up two ground balls.
angle four minutes into the second half to give Muhlenberg a 9-3 lead.

As they did in their season-opening win against Drew, the Mules allowed Susquehanna back in the game. The Crusaders scored four straight goals to close to within two and would have gotten even closer if not for a heads-up play by Morrongiello, who saved a shot with freshman goalie Caroline Shadood behind the cage after getting called for a foul.

Shadood saved a free-position shot with less than nine minutes to play to preserve the small lead. Senior Steph Light finally gave Muhlenberg some breathing room with 6:32 left when she intercepted an attempted clearing pass by the Crusader goalie and sprinted in to score her second goal of the game, ending a 19-minute scoring drought.

Donohue’s goal with 2:34 on the clock capped the scoring.

Shadood had an outstanding game in goal, making nine saves. Morrongiello recorded five draw controls and Armstrong four, as the Mules won 13 of the 21 draws.

Muhlenberg will look to make it a 3-0 start when it faces Elizabethtown in its second Florida game on Wednesday. “If we keep playing like this, we’re going to have a great season,” said Tapkas. “But we can’t rest on our laurels, and we need to keep working hard.”.

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Last updated March 6, 2006