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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, April 26, 2008

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Baseball Golf, Softball, Track & Field

men’s lax dances into playoffs

The Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team was not only well-prepared to play its winner-take-all regular-season finale at Ursinus; it also was ready for the postgame.

So confident were the Mules that they brought along a stereo so they could play their victory song, “Murder on the Dancefloor,” in the locker room.

The confidence was rewarded, as Muhlenberg got to dance all it wanted to following a 9-8 victory.
Brent Siebold
Freshman Brent Siebold scored back-to-back goals in the first quarter to give the Mules a 2-1 lead. He later added two assists.
The win earned the Mules (10-4, 5-3) the fourth and final Centennial Conference playoff spot, which would have gone to the Bears (7-9, 4-4) had the outcome been reversed.

Just three years after going 0-8 in the CC, Muhlenberg will take its eight-game winning streak into the first postseason game in its history Friday at Gettysburg.

To get there, the Mules had to prevail in a thrilling game in which neither team led by more than two goals. The contest wasn’t decided until the final horn – or, more appropriately, the final Bell. Sophomore Andrew Bell made a tough save on Ursinus’ man-up offense with 3 seconds left to preserve the win.

“It was a bounce shot from about 12 yards out,” described Bell, who totaled 12 saves in the game. “It was the hardest spot for a goalie – off-stick side, at the hip.”

With the game tied at 7-7 midway through the fourth quarter, senior Mike Brown forced his
Farris, Mickey Norton (2) and fans celebrate a man-up goal with 15 seconds left in the first quarter that extended the Mules’ lead to 3-1. Of Norton’s 24 assists this season. 14 have gone to Farris.
way through a pair of Ursinus defenders and scored the go-ahead goal. Junior Nick Fletcher drew a slashing penalty behind the cage at the 3:38 mark, then fed senior Kyle Farris from about the same spot for a big insurance goal just 12 seconds into the extra-man opportunity.

It was the third goal of the game for Farris and the 100th of his career.

“Most of my goals are assisted,” noted Farris. “It’s my teammates working their butts off to get a defenseman to slide and then finding me wide open. All I have to do is put it in.”

After going up 9-7, Muhlenberg appeared to be in good shape when senior Tim Martin won the ensuing faceoff, but the Bears got the ball back on a saved shot and scored with 1:16 on the clock on a rebound of a shot that hit the post.

Martin again won the face, but a turnover gave Ursinus one last chance in the final minute. That chance got even better when the Mules were called for a penalty with 12.3 seconds on the clock, but Bell made his big save on the only shot the Bears got.

The last-second save prevented a repeat of the end of the first half, when Ursinus scored two goals in the last 29.9 seconds to erase a 5-3 Mule lead.

“They definitely had the momentum at halftime, but I knew we’d come back,” said Bell. “It was our seniors. They’ve pushed us all year.”

It was a junior who put Muhlenberg back on top. John DeLuca, whose two long runs on an adjacent field helped the Mule football team to a title-clinching win against Ursinus in November, completed one of his now-commonplace long runs up the lacrosse field by scoring a goal with 12:08 left in the third, making the score 6-5.

The back-and-forth action continued through the rest of the period, which ended with the score knotted at 7.

“We’re very evenly matched with them,” said Farris of an opponent whose six games against Muhlenberg have been decided by a total of nine goals. “Our defense played great and on offense, to score nine goals against them is pretty good.”

Good enough to get the Mules into the playoffs.
Click here for box score.

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