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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, March 27, 2010

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Men’s lax wins by – what else? – one

After five of its first six games this season were decided by one goal, it appeared the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team was on its way to a blowout – by its standards, that is – against Swarthmore.

But the Garnet kept the one-goal madness going, scoring a meaningless goal with 0.2 seconds left in a 9-8 Muhlenberg win.

Ari Jacobson
Jacobson looks for a loose ball. He scored twice for the third time in four games.
“It’s frustrating, but you have to do what it takes to win and gut it out,” said senior Al Carpetto of the never-ending one-goal contests. “It would be nice to get a comfortable lead and win by four or five.”

Comfortable or not, the victory helped the Mules (4-3, 3-1) keep pace in the ultracompetitive Centennial Conference. Previously unbeaten Ursinus fell to McDaniel, also by a score of 9-8, putting Muhlenberg into a tie for second place with the Bears. Top-ranked and first-place Gettysburg lost to No. 3 Salisbury, 11-10, in non-conference action.

“It’s a big step for this program,” commented Carpetto. “It’s great to be 3-1 for the first time, and we’re hoping to keep going and get a good seed for the playoffs.”

It was a Carpetto feed that helped the Mules seal that 3-1 start. With Muhlenberg leading 7-6 late in the fourth quarter, Carpetto set up shop behind the net and found freshman Jack Reilly wide open in front. Reilly buried his first career goal with 3:20 to play, and freshman Michael Carpetto, Al’s younger brother, won the ensuing faceoff to help run clock.

Zach Weiner
Freshman Zach Weiner battles for a ground ball after a faceoff.
Swarthmore (1-6, 0-4) would eventually pull to within one with 34.6 seconds left, but Reilly again made it a two-goal game with 24.7 to play, taking a pass from junior Brent Siebold and finding the back of the net, effectively squashing any chance of a comeback.

“It’s a big step from high school to college,” noted the elder Carpetto. “It’s nice to see the freshmen do well.”

Another of those freshmen helped the Mules play one of their finest quarters of the season in the beginning of the game. After sophomore Clint Watkins put Muhlenberg up 1-0, freshman AJ Diaz netted his first career goal 34 seconds later. Al Carpetto then found sophomore Corey Aferiat, giving the Mules a huge 3-0 lead in the first.

The Garnet did get a goal a few minutes later, but junior Mike Horowitz made sure the quarter would end with the score 3-1. He made two huge saves with Muhlenberg man-down with just under four minutes to play, then made another big stop after another Mule penalty.

Watkins made it 4-1 early in the second, but Swarthmore hung tough, eventually tying the score at 5-all with 41.3 seconds left in the third quarter despite some more remarkable saves from Horowitz, including one at point-blank range just before the half.

After the Garnet tied it Siebold came through with a remarkable play of his own, spinning and firing for the go-ahead goal with 2.5 seconds left in the third. Senior Ari Jacobson then topped that, intercepting a pass from the goalie and beating him one-on-one early in the fourth. Swarthmore wouldn’t get closer than one the rest of the way.

“They always give us a good fight,” said Carpetto. “They took us to two overtimes last year and pushed us to the brink again this year. But we got it done.”

Horowitz finished with 13 saves between the pipes. Junior Tom Brant had a team-high five ground balls, and he and classmate Andy Curley caused two turnovers each.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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