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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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Men’s tennis

men’s lacrosse rolls to third straight

The record book shows that the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team is accomplishing a long list of firsts this season. But what it can’t show is something that was plainly evident in the team’s 9-4 win against Dickinson: The Mules are playing with confidence for the first time.

Muhlenberg excelled in all areas in beating the Red Devils for their third consecutive Centennial Conference win. With the win, the Mules (5-4, 3-3) kept alive their hopes of making the CC playoffs for the first time. Dickinson qualified for the playoffs each of the last four seasons.

“Seeing their
Brent Siebold
Siebold’s two goals gave him 13 for the season.
scores with other teams we knew they’d be a tough opponent,” said senior Mike Brown, who recorded a goal and an assist. “I honestly didn’t expect us to win as big as we did. It just goes to show the talent we have.”

Brown wasn’t the only one surprised by the margin of victory. The Web site LaxPower.com rated the Mules 24th and the Red Devils 25th among the 148 Division III teams, suggesting a close game. Dickinson (6-5, 1-4) has been ranked as high as 19th by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association this year and received votes in the latest poll.

All three wins in Muhlenberg’s current streak have come against teams that received national top-20 votes this season.

“When we get out and start firing on all cylinders, we can play with anyone,” said Brown.

All systems were go against the Red Devils, who had won all five previous meetings since Muhlenberg reinstated men’s lacrosse in 2003. The defense was spectacular, giving up only four goals – the fewest ever allowed by the Mules to a CC opponent – and 11 shots on goal.

“The defense played amazing, keeping the shots to the outside,” said sophomore Andrew Bell, who made seven saves. “I was seeing the ball great tonight.”

Muhlenberg had a 33-27 advantage in ground balls and won 13 of 17 faceoffs. Junior Dan Dugan was 9-of-10 on faces, losing only one for the second game in a row.

The offense gave the Mules an early lead and produced some nifty goals. Senior Kyle Farris and junior Nick Fletcher scored 36 seconds apart just over five minutes into the game to put Muhlenberg ahead 2-0.

After Dickinson scored consecutive goals to draw to within 3-2, Muhlenberg regained a two-goal margin with 1:46 left in the half when senior Mickey Norton faked a shot, scooted around a defender and passed to freshman Brent Siebold for an easy putaway.

The Mules pulled away by scoring the first three goals of the second half. Norton assisted on two of them and finished the game with four assists, and Farris scored two to wrap up his school-record 16th career hat trick.

The icing on the cake came with 3:26 left in the fourth quarter when Fletcher squeezed out of a double team behind the cage and made a perfect pass through traffic to Brown, who converted for Muhlenberg’s final goal.

“That play was all Fletcher,” said Brown. “I would have felt terrible if I hadn’t put it in.”

With their first three-game CC winning streak secured, the Mules will turn their attention to Saturday’s home game against McDaniel, where they will try to clinch a .500 CC record for the first time.

“We’re rolling with a full head of steam,” said Brown. “Hopefully we can carry this through our two remaining conference games.”
Click here for box score.

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