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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Muley trophy Year in Review
The Muleys, Part 1

The 2008-09 year was a good one in Muhlenberg athletics, and the best accomplishments will be recognized this week with the first Muley Awards. Check back tomorrow for more Muleys, and then Friday for the major awards of the year. Below is the first set of awards. Congratulations to all the recipients; please keep the acceptance speeches brief.

The envelope please …

Best Season
No winter of discontent at Muhlenberg: Women’s basketball, wrestling and men’s track and field all competed in the NCAAs and had All-Americans. Women’s track and field sent runners to the NCAAs for the first time, and men’s basketball reached the semifinals of the Centennial Conference playoffs for the first time in seven years.

David Chorney Longest Season
David Chorney competed for the first time at the Dickinson Long/Short Meet on Sept. 20, and his season was definitely on the long side. His last competition came more than eight months later at the NCAA Championships on May 22. Chorney stretched his year to the maximum by qualifying for NCAAs in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.

Shortest Season
Women’s golf started its season on April 25 in the first round of the Centennial Conference Championships and ended it the next day in the second round. Every other scheduled competition was rained out.

Best First Name
As the last name of a horse, it won the Preakness. But as the first name of a Mule, Alexandra was an All-American in outdoor track and field (Alexandra Faust) and a record-setting three-point shooter in women’s basketball (Alexandra Chili).

Best Last Name
All three O’Grady sisters earned honors for the women’s soccer team. Christina O’Grady was voted to the All-Centennial Conference second team, Meghan O’Grady received honorable mention, and Ashley O’Grady was named CC defensive player of the week.

Straight Shooters of the Year
The men’s basketball team broke set school and Centennial Conference records by shooting a perfect 26-for-26 from the free-throw line in its 73-65 win at Swarthmore. The two teams combined to shoot a Division III-record 38-for-39.

Upset of the Year
The Muhlenberg field hockey team came into its game against Johns Hopkins with a record of 5-8 overall, 2-4 in the Centennial
Best Religious Celebration
Women's tennis seder After winning at Dickinson on the first night of Passover, the women’s tennis team held a Seder on its bus before heading back to Allentown. The brief ceremony was enjoyed by all members of the team, some of whom had never experienced one.
Conference. Hopkins was 13-1, 6-0, and ranked sixth with its only loss coming to No. 2 New Jersey. Looking for revenge after the Blue Jays had knocked them out of the CC playoffs the previous year, the Mules got it when Tara Cohn scored the only goal of the game 32 seconds into overtime.

Best Senior Sendoff
A tie between men’s soccer and wrestling. On men’s soccer Senior Day, seniors combined for two goals and three assists in the first 15:05 as the Mules jumped out to a big lead in a 5-1 win over Haverford. On wrestling’s Senior Night, all four Muhlenberg seniors who wrestled won their bouts, helping the Mules beat Messiah, 25-20.

Best Non-Senior Sendoff
Men’s tennis did not have a senior in the lineup when it beat regular-season Commonwealth Conference champion Elizabethtown in its final match. Non-seniors accounted for all the points when the Mules also beat Gettysburg, 5-4, in their last Centennial Conference match.

Best Job Reaching the Ceiling (Women’s Team)
In a sport where one team (Franklin & Marshall) in the conference wins the national championship and another (Gettysburg) loses by one goal in a national semifinal, finishing in third place is just about as good as you can get. And that’s just what the lacrosse team did, finishing at 10-4 with three of the losses coming to the two Division III powerhouses.

Best Job Reaching the Ceiling (Men’s Team)
Mt. Union was ranked No. 1 in the Division III football poll every week in the regular season in 2008. And 2007. And 2006. So getting to No. 2 in the coaches poll was the highest realistic ranking for Muhlenberg – not to mention the highest Division III ranking ever for any Mule team in any sport.

volleyball team Best Second-Place Finish (Women’s Team)
Volleyball secured second place at Moravian’s Greyhound Premiere Invitational by defeating the hosts in three sets. The Mules hadn’t defeated the Greyhounds since 2000 and hadn’t won at Moravian since way back in 1982. They also had never swept the Greyhounds in a three-set match.

Best Second-Place Finish (Men’s Team)
Plenty of matches to pick from for the men’s golf team, which finished second at four of its six fall tournaments. At the last one, the Mules overtook an Allegheny team that was ranked 22nd in Division III at the time to come in second at the Muhlenberg Invitational.

Best Duplication of Effort
Muhlenberg soccer players Tom Reilly (against Neumann) and Renee Dessimone (against St. Joseph’s) both scored hat tricks on August 30. It was the first time ever that the Mule men’s and women’s teams got hat tricks on the same day, and Dessimone’s came in her first career game.

Most Surprising Score
Women’s soccer pulled off a 5-0 win on a cold, windy, overcast day at Ursinus, virtually clinching a Centennial Conference playoff berth. The one-sided match came against a Bear squad that reached the 2007 CC championship game, had given up only three goals in its previous six games and hadn’t conceded more than four goals in a game since 2002. The last five meetings between the two schools ended up 1-0 or 2-0.

Worst Score
The men’s lacrosse team lost three games by the same score (8-7) to teams that would go on to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Mules lost by that count to Centennial Conference regular-season champion Haverford, Skyline Conference champion Montclair State and MAC champion FDU-Florham. Muhlenberg finally won an 8-7 game against Ursinus in the last game of the regular season.

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