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Muhlenberg College

Friday, May 29, 2009

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Muley trophy Year in Review
The Muleys, Part 3

Here it is: the best of the best in Muhlenberg athletics in 2008-09.

Clutch Performance of the Year (Female)
Over the last nine women’s basketball games (the last four of the regular season and five in the postseason; six of the nine on the road), Kelly McKeon defined clutch, averaging 16.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists while shooting 49.0 percent from the field and 82.3 percent from the line. Her top performance was a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) at Ursinus, helping the Mules overcome a 15-point deficit to wrap up their undefeated Centennial Conference regular season with a 68-65 win.

Clutch Performance of the Year (Male)
Men’s basketball trailed Johns Hopkins 58-54 with just over a minute left when Ryan Foster drilled a three-pointer.
Lifetime Achievement Award
women's basketball seniors The women’s basketball seniors - Kaitlin Strumph, Bethany Enterline, Lauren Boyle and Erin McSherry - won three Centennial Conference championships in their four years and finished with an amazing career record of 92-21 (.814). Only one team in Muhlenberg’s athletic history (softball, 1989-92) won more games in a four-year span.
After a Blue Jay turnover, Foster hit another three with 19 seconds left, then blocked a potential game-tying jumper to preserve an important 60-58 road win. (video)

Special mention to Brandon Doyle of the football team, whose fourth-quarter interceptions against both Johns Hopkins and Dickinson thwarted potential game-winning drives and lifted the Mules to a pair of key road victories.

Samantha Crist Play of the Year (Female)
With the softball team trailing 5-4 with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh of its Centennial Conference playoff game against Gettysburg, Samantha Crist cranked an 0-1 pitch way over the fence for a grand slam. Believed to be the first walkoff home run in program history, it proved to be the hit that won the CC championship for the Mules when the tournament was rained out after four games.

Play of the Year (Male)
Peter Barnes posterized an opponent with a thunderous dunk early in the men’s basketball home game against defending Centennial Conference champion Ursinus. The dunk was part of a 15-3 opening spurt and helped set the tone for the game, which the Mules went on to win, 86-68. (video)

Rookie of the Year (Female)
Alexandra Chili led the Centennial Conference champion women’s basketball team in scoring at 16.0 points per game, setting school records for points in a season (480), three-pointers in a season (96) and assists by a freshman in a season (118).
Breakthrough Athletes of the Year
Jennifer Lynch Michael Katz Female: In her first year on the women’s track and field team, junior Jennifer Lynch broke four school records, qualified for the NCAA Championships in the mile indoors and won a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Centennial Conference Championships outdoors. She also scored a career-high three goals for the soccer team.

Male: After not playing at all on the varsity team as a freshman, Michael Katz won the starting job as kicker for the football team and set a school record by going 45-for-45 on extra points. No other Division III kicker attempted more than 30 PATs without a miss. Katz also made eight field goals, including a 42-yarder in the rain against Franklin & Marshall.
She was third in Division III in three-pointers per game; her 96 total threes led the country and were the third-most ever by a Division III freshman.

Rookie of the Year (Male)
In a year that saw outstanding debuts by Cody Antonini (soccer), Spencer Liddic (basketball) and Corey Aferiat (lacrosse), the Muley goes to Peter Rice of the track and field team. Rice Peter Rice became only the second freshman in Muhlenberg athletic history to earn All-America honors when he ran on the distance medley relay team that finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. (The only other freshman All-American was a 21-year-old war veteran in football in 1946.) Rice also contributed to a school record in the outdoor 4x100 and finished third in the 400 at the Centennial Conference Championships outdoors.

Rookie of the Year (Coach)
In her first season, Roni Rivera turned around a softball team that had tied for last place in 2008. The Mules won the Centennial Conference championship in 2009, and their eight-game improvement in the standings tied for the best in CC history.

CC women's basketball champs Team of the Year (Female)
Basketball put together “the perfect season,” becoming the first team in Centennial Conference history to go through the regular season and postseason undefeated. The Mules’ unprecedented 20-0 run earned them a trip to Maine for the NCAA Tournament, where they handed Bowdoin its first-ever postseason homecourt loss. In the first Sweet 16 appearance in program history, Muhlenberg fell to Brandeis to finish with a record of 26-4. The Mules ended the season ranked 14th in Division III.

Team of the Year (Male)
CC football champs The football team won its second straight Centennial Conference championship, rising as high as No. 2 in the national poll. The Mules ran up winning streaks of 20 games in regular-season play and 15 games in CC action before losing to Moravian in the last game of the regular season. Both streaks are the second-longest in CC history. Muhlenberg had the CC offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year and coach of the year as well as two All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans.

Alex Faust Athlete of the Year (Female)
Alex Faust took her pole vaulting to even greater heights in 2009. She won the Centennial Conference championship both indoors and outdoors for the third straight year, but for the first time she also participated in the NCAA Championships in both seasons, coming in seventh outdoors to earn All-America honors. Faust also set school records in the 55 meters (indoors) and 400 meters (both indoors and outdoors). She placed in five events at the CC Indoor Championships and John DeLuca four at the outdoor meet, including a gold medal (and NCAA provisional qualifying time) in the 400 outdoors.

Athlete of the Year (Male)
All-American in two sports, playing offense in one and defense in the other. Academic All-American. Centennial Conference offensive player of the year. There wasn’t much more John DeLuca could have accomplished in his senior year. In football, he rushed for a school-record 1,634 yards and 15 touchdowns, finishing ninth in Division III in rushing yards per game and 15th in all-purpose yards. In lacrosse, he caused 19 turnovers, picked up 34 ground balls and scored a pair of goals. DeLuca’s efforts led the football team to its second consecutive CC championship and the lacrosse squad to its best CC finish (tied for third place). (video)

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