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Sunday, September 5, 2010

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Women’s soccer

Men’s soccer repeats 5-0 win

The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team fielded a more experienced lineup for its second game of the 2010 season than it did for the first.

Instead of having two freshmen in the back four making their first
Steve Giannacio
Giannacio’s free kick from the corner of the box led to the second goal. It found its way to the far post and was cleared away, but not out of the box, by a Centenary player. The ball came to Way, who fed Schauer.
career start, they had two freshmen making their second career start. The two central midfielders, who had combined for two career starts in previous years, came into this game with four career starts. And one of the forwards was starting for the second time rather than the first.

Same lineup, same result: the Mules defeated Centenary, 5-0, to complete an impressive first weekend of the new season.

Back-to-back 5-0 wins to start the season is impressive enough: Muhlenberg had never scored five goals or more in each of the first two games, and the 10 total goals tied a school record (see chart).

But to win with young players in key spots is even more impressive. Freshmen Jonathan Schauer and Ryan Barlotta started in the back, helping to limit the Mules’ two opponents to five total shots. Schauer even contributed to the offense with a goal against Centenary. Junior Steve Giannacio and sophomore Nate Squire controlled the game through the midfield, and sophomore forward Danny Way had a goal and an assist.

“Even though Ryan and Jon are freshmen, they’re better than I could have ever expected,” said senior Matt Cecconi, by far the veteran of the back line. “It’s not, ‘oh no, I have freshmen playing next to me.’ I’m glad they’re playing next to me.

“Steve and Nate may not have the experience but
Most Goals, First Two Games of Season

10, 2009 (5 vs. Marywood, 5 vs. Centenary)
10, 1987 (6 vs. Stockton State, 4 vs. Swarthmore)
10, 1978 (6 vs. FDU-Madison, 4 vs. Delaware Valley)
9, 1989 (4 vs. Bloomsburg, 5 vs. Swarthmore)
8, 1994 (3 vs. Bloomsburg, 5 vs. Kutztown)
8, 1967 (5 vs. Gettysburg, 3 vs. Franklin & Marshall)

they’re very strong players,” he added. “They do a great job of getting the ball to Cody [Antonini] and Danny.”

And when Antonini gets the ball, he knows what to do with it. For the second straight game, the junior All-American scored two goals. He is the first Muhlenberg player to record back-to-back multiple-goal games since Christopher King in 2005, and the first to do it in the first two games of the season since Mike Stoudt way back in 1967.

The Mules dominated the action from the start against the Cyclones (0-3), grabbing an
Danny Way
Way beats the Cyclone goalie for his third career goal.
early 1-0 lead on Antonini’s blast from the 18 in the seventh minute, then blowing the game open with three goals in a 4:18 span. Schauer and Antonini scored 33 seconds apart, Muhlenberg’s quickest goals since netting two 32 seconds apart against Haverford last year.

Senior Mike Williams completed the blitz by converting a penalty kick after getting taken down in the box. It was the second goal in as many games for Williams, who scored one all last year.

Way’s first goal of the season, assisted by Williams, capped the scoring early in the second half.

“We focused on keeping the ball and not forcing it, and once you get a couple of goals it’s easier to do that,” said Cecconi. “It’s always tough to start the season, but I think we got rid of a lot of the nerves yesterday and looked more relaxed on the ball today.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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