YEAR IN REVIEW: TOP 10
The 2006-07 athletic year at Muhlenberg College began with a volleyball
match at Moravian on the first day of September and ended last Saturday at
the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships. With just three short
months until the start of the 2007-08 year, its time to take a look
Below are the top 10 Mule moments of 2006-07, as ranked by the sports
information office. Do you agree or disagree with the selections and/or
the order? Let us know by e-mailing to the address below. Selected
comments will be published in the upcoming weeks, so let the debate begin!
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1. UP TO PAR
Womens golf won Muhlenbergs lone
championship of 2006-07, outshooting five-time defending champ McDaniel by
30 strokes to win its first title since 2001. Freshman Kimberly
Snyder earned medalist honors by shooting a 162, 12 strokes ahead of
two other competitors, and ended the year with an average of 81.7,
breaking the previous school record by more than 12 strokes. Junior
Dana Lynn Bielecki finished fourth at the CC tournament for the
second year in a row, and senior Kristen Amore tied for eighth.
2. FANTASTIC FOUR
Of the 96 schools that sponsor wrestling at the Division III level, only
five produced four conference champions who qualified for the NCAA
Championships. One was Muhlenberg. Sophomores Billy Hall (133) and
Rob Kein (141), senior Matt Loesch (197) and junior Joe
Tartar (HWT) all represented the Mules at the national meet in Iowa,
with Loesch finishing sixth to earn All-America honors for the third year
in a row. Loesch ended his career undefeated against CC foes and a
four-time CC champ.
3. COOL RUNNING
The mens cross country team earned its first berth to the NCAA
Championships in 2006. With their top eight consisting of five seniors and
three sophomores, the Mules had the perfect blend of experience and youth.
They tied program bests by finishing second at the CC Championships and
fourth at the Mideast Regional and were rewarded with one of 16 at-large
berths to the NCAA Championships. Entering the national meet ranked 33rd
in the Division III coaches poll, the Mules finished 29th, ahead of three
other invited teams.
4. LEADERS IN THEIR FIELDS
A member of the Muhlenberg womens track and field team was named
outstanding performer for field events at the Centennial Conference
Championships both indoors and outdoors. The indoor honoree was freshman
Alex Faust, who won the pole vault and broke four school records in
her rookie campaign. Outdoors, senior Sarah Mitchell was
after winning the javelin for the fourth straight year. Mitchell
automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, where she finished
5. NOT DEAD YET
The mens basketball team was a game-and-a-half out of last place and
had lost eight straight when it hosted Franklin & Marshall on Feb. 3. Down
18 points two minutes into the second half, the Mules came back not only
to win that game, but also the next four to qualify for the CC playoffs.
It was the first time in College athletic history that a team followed an
eight-game losing streak with a five-game winning streak.
6. A STARTLING START
The womens basketball team graduated seven seniors from its 2006
CC-championship squad, but looked like a veteran group as it won its first
11 games to climb to No. 19 in the national rankings. Included in that
stretch was the Scotty Wood Tournament championship and the 100th career
win for coach Ron Rohn. The Mules eventually cooled off and
finished 19-7, with senior Meghan Courtney earning CC
player-of-the-year and All-America honors.
7. NO REGARD FOR HISTORY
The first-round of the CC field hockey playoffs matched five-time
conference champion Gettysburg against a Muhlenberg squad that had not won
a postseason game since 1992. The new kids on the postseason block knocked
off the old veterans, 1-0, on a goal by senior Jessica Hand with
18:17 left in the game.
Down 2-0 with 15 minutes to play in the first game of the season, the
womens soccer team scored three goals in a span of 7:49 to stun
Gwynedd-Mercy, 3-2. Senior Mallory DiMaio, playing her first game
with the Mules, scored the go-ahead goal with 6:36 left. The comeback
victory set the
tone for a season in which the Mules went 13-6 a nine-win
improvement from 2005.
9. FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME
The Muhlenberg football team ran two fake punts against William Paterson,
and they both went for 51 yards. The second, on a pass from senior Ryan
Sassaman to junior Matt Johnson with 9:12 left in the fourth
quarter, resulted in the game-winning touchdown.
10. FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC
Sophomore Billy Dalton scored with five seconds left in regulation
to give the mens soccer team a 1-0 win against defending CC
regular-season champion McDaniel. In the first round of the CC playoffs,
the Mules tied the game, 1-1, on a goal by sophomore Brendan
Carroll with 20 seconds left in regulation, but Gettysburg went on to
win in penalty kicks.