Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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page 2 Men's lacrosse preview



Missing out on the Centennial Conference tournament last year was a bitter ending to a sweet season in which the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team set the school record with 10 wins. This year the Mules hope to build off the positives from last year and even take it one step further, as they work towards qualifying for the postseason for the first time in team history.

“We missed it by one game last year, so our goal is to come out strong and make an impact in the conference,” said senior Katie Reimann.

They’ll have to do it without last year’s five seniors – who graduated as
Taylor Armstrong
Taylor Armstrong is one of four Mule juniors who “understand that they are upperclassmen now, and they are going to make it part of their responsibility to be leaders on and off the field,” according to Sakonchick.
the winningest class in school history with 31 victories and combined for half of the Mules’ 179 goals in 2006 – but the team remains optimistic.

“Losing those girls had a big impact on us because they were the basis of our program, but it gives a lot of the younger players a chance to step up and shine,” said senior Kelli Sakonchick. “It’s going to bring out a lot more potential in people, and everyone is going to work hard and fill the shoes that were left behind.”

The Mules return 16 athletes from last year’s roster, including seven starters. Two of those starters have already played their way into the Muhlenberg record books and are expected to help carry the team when the 2007 season kicks off at home against King’s on Thursday.

Reimann, one of the two team captains, ranks among Muhlenberg’s all-time leaders in points with 81 for her career. Last year she earned 27 points, and if she can duplicate that number this year, she would graduate in the top-ten all time in that category. She also ranks fifth all-time in assists with 38 and is only six shy of taking over the No. 3 spot.

This year, many of Reimann’s assists will likely come on goals by sophomore Ruth Morrongiello, who leads all returning athletes in scoring from a season ago. Her 29 goals as a freshman were second on the squad behind only one teammate, who happened to be the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Muhlenberg also returns sophomore Caroline Shadood, who played every minute in goal as a freshman last year. After one season she stands just 26 saves shy of breaking into the top-five all-time in career saves. She also enters this year as one of the top goalies in the conference, finishing the 2006 season ranked fourth in the CC with a .530 save percentage.

“Stepping up from freshmen to upperclassmen is a big change, but these girls will take on the extra responsibility.” Reimann said. “We’ll benefit a lot from their maturity this year.”

Helping out Shadood on the defensive end will be Sakonchick, the Mules’ second captain, who led the team in caused turnovers and ranks second among returning players with 36 ground balls last season.

Sophomore Marguerite Farrell also made a solid contribution to the Muhlenberg defense last year and ranked fifth on the team in ground balls (32) and caused turnovers (10). Sophomore Farrin Jay added four draw controls and four ground balls.

Among the other returning letterwinners for the Mules are junior Marissa Capuano and sophomores Sara Hiller and Kate Noone, who combined for 50 points last year on the offensive end.

This year’s newcomers are also an impressive group and have already made their mark in practice and in the team’s first scrimmage.

“They’ve really blended into this team,” Reimann said. “It feels like we’ve been playing with them forever.”

The Mules will compete in a strong Centennial Conference in which they were picked to finish seventh, but they are ready to work for one of the five playoff spots.

“Every year we want to build up from where we left off the previous season,” Sakonchick said. “We just have to work as hard as we can every day, and we have to do it as one unified team.”

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Last updated February 27, 2007