The first-ever trip to the Centennial Conference playoffs was the culmination for the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team during the most successful season in program history.
In a year highlighted by numerous individual and team records, the Mules qualified for the playoffs in a league featuring three of the top 15 teams in the
country, including 2007 national champion Franklin & Marshall.
Armstrong’s 82 points were just two short of the school record for a season. She finished her career seventh on the all-time scoring list with 168 points.
Only a season after Muhlenberg finished with a 2-7 mark in the
CC, the squad manifested its tremendous improvement in concluding the 2008 campaign 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the league.
The start of the CC season didn’t look that bright for the Mules, who began with two losses. However, both came against nationally ranked foes in Gettysburg and Dickinson.
Following the loss to the Red Devils, Muhlenberg downed an opponent it had never defeated – Ursinus. The Mules scored a vital 13-8 victory to revalidate their playoff aspirations.
The Ursinus game began a stretch in which Muhlenberg won seven of eight, falling only to F&M, to enter the regular-season finale against McDaniel in fourth place.
A 22-19 loss to the Green Terror and a Dickinson triumph over Ursinus meant that three teams finished with a 5-4 record. McDaniel claimed the fourth seed by virtue of superior goal difference among the threesome, while Muhlenberg took the fifth seed thanks to its win in the direct clash with the Bears.
Four days later, the Mules had an opportunity to avenge the regular-season loss to McDaniel as the two teams squared off in the first round of the playoffs. Despite a brilliant start to the game, Muhlenberg couldn’t hang on to an early four-goal lead and lost 22-16, finishing a memorable campaign.
A few of the multiple records set by the 2008 Mule team
include school standards for most victories in a season (11), most wins in the CC (5) and highest winning percentage (.688). The prolific Muhlenberg attack also set a record for goals in one season (248) and goals per game (15.5).
Much of the success should be credited to the teamwork exercised by the Mules, who registered 10 assists or more in six
games, including a school-record 16 in a 20-9 win against Haverford.
Capuano led Muhlenberg with 40 ground balls and caused 18 turnovers (second on the team).
Handling the playmaking duties was senior Taylor Armstrong, who not only set school records for season assists (50) and career assists (88), but also ranked fifth in Division III in helpers per game (3.13).
Junior Ruth Morrongiello paced the high-octane Mule offense with 41 goals on the season, including the 100th of her career. She also led the squad in draw controls with a school-record 59 and ranked second in the conference with 3.69 per game.
Junior Sara Hiller (32 goals) scored at least one goal in each game for the second straight season and will enter her senior season riding on a school-record 33-game scoring streak.
Three Muhlenberg players earned All-CC honors as sophomore Amanda McGovern (37 goals, 17 assists) was a second-team selection, while Armstrong and Morrongiello received honorable mention.
Sophomore Alyssa Bascelli enjoyed a breakthrough season with 30 goals and a team-leading 20 caused turnovers from the midfield. She was one of five Mules to score at least 30 times, and freshman Rachael Goldstein (29) just missed.
Armstrong and classmates Marissa Capuano, Maura Lane and Kate Sawyer finished their collegiate careers as the winningest class in program history with a record of 38-25 (.603).
For the third straight season, Muhlenberg remained undefeated against non-conference opposition, extending its winning streak to 22 encounters.