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Saturday, October 9, 2010

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Field Hockey picks up first win

Midway through the first half of the Muhlenberg field hockey game at McDaniel, Dayna Hovern looked up at the scoreboard and had to do a double take.

She had just scored her second goal of the game to give the Mules their first lead of the season, and it took a moment for reality to set in.

“That was an incredible feeling,” Hovern said of her second goal. “It took me a second to realize it. I had to look up at the scoreboard again to make sure that we were actually winning. To be able to score that goal to break the tie was very satisfying, especially being a freshman. It made me feel like I did my part to help the team.”

Brittany DeAngelis
A big defensive stop by Brittany DeAngelis keyed the Mule victory.
While Hovern provided the offense, Muhlenberg’s defense would take over, shutting the Green Terror out the rest of the way to give the Mules their first win of the season, 2-1 in Westminster.

Hovern got Muhlenberg on the board 15:51 into the game. A scramble formed in front of McDaniel’s net after a Devon Barber penalty corner. The ball came to Hovern and she was able to lift it over the Green Terror keeper to tie the game, 1-1.

Less than three minutes later, Barber set up for another penalty corner.

This time she passed it to Hovern, who rifled a shot from just inside the circle. The shot was saved, but the rebound went right back to Hovern. With the goalie on the ground, all it took was a simply lofted shot from Hovern to put the Mules ahead, 2-1.

From that point on, she said the clock appeared to slow down.

“The second half was incredibly nerve-racking,” Hovern said. “The seconds went by like hours and it was very agonizing. But the defense did a great job and came through. They were able to hold the lead for us and get the win. This was a total team effort tonight, which makes it even more satisfying.”

The Mule defense held steady in the midst of McDaniel’s 12 shots and 13 penalty corners in the second half. Muhlenberg defenders blocked four Green Terror shots and goalie Kristen Dornenburg made five of her seven saves after halftime.

And Brittany DeAngelis added another stellar defensive play with 12 minutes remaining to save the game.

With McDaniel on a breakaway, Dornenburg came out of the cage and met the Green Terror attacker, sending the ball flying in the air. With Dornenburg out of the net, and another McDaniel player closing in on the empty cage, DeAngelis swept in and knocked it away, preserving the lead.

When those agonizing seconds finally ticked away, the entire Mule bench stormed the field. They screamed, cheered and hugged one another. It was the moment they had been waiting for for more than a month. And it was a moment that Hovern said they cannot wait to repeat.

“Everything just clicked tonight,” she said. “There was a lot more communication and we supported each other. We worked together really well and everyone was a lot more unified out there.

“I think the excitement from this game will stay with us. Now we know we can win and we know what it takes to win. We just need to keep communication and keep supporting each other and playing as a team and hopefully we’ll be able to get some more.”

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