Women's Soccer Breaks Out At Gwynedd-Mercy

Friday, September 9, 2011


Alyssa Meola
Meola doubled her career goal total with her two tallies against the Griffins.
With rain pelting the Lehigh Valley for much of the past week, the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team was forced to practice inside the John Deitrich Field House.

And while the facility is a nice alternative for when conditions outside are subpar, soccer was meant to be played outdoors.

So when the Mules finally got a chance to play a full 90 minutes outside at Gwynedd-Mercy on Friday night, they let loose their frustrations from being pent up inside by cruising past the Griffins, 3-0.

"We kept getting confined to the field house this past week," junior Alyssa Meola, who led the Mules with two goals, said. "It’s hot in there, and we can’t really practice like we can on a full field. So being outside for the whole time tonight was exciting, and I think our play showed that."

While the Mules (2-1) controlled play for much of the first half, they were kept off the board until the 42nd minute when senior Meghan O’Grady took off on a breakaway towards Gwynedd-Mercy’s net.

Stuck in a one-on-one situation, the Griffin goalie charged and slid, taking out O’Grady and grabbing the ball with her hands outside of the penalty box. She was given a red card, and Muhlenberg was awarded a free kick from just outside the 18.

Meola took the kick and chipped it over the Gwynedd-Mercy (0-2-1) wall. The ball hit the bottom of the cross bar and bounced into the back of the net, giving the Mules a 1-0 lead at the break.

Less than 15 minutes into the second half, Meola struck again when she buried a crossing pass that deflected off of a Griffin defender to push the advantage to two.

"Getting those two goals felt great, but I didn’t really do all that much," Meola said. "It was a total team effort tonight, and I’m just glad I was able to finish to help my team. We were really excited to play tonight, and I think we played pretty well."

O’Grady got redemption for the earlier breakaway when she tallied her first goal of the season in the 66th minute to close out the scoring. Muhlenberg held a 15-4 advantage in shots and did not allow a shot on goal.

The win was Muhlenberg’s second in the first three games of the season. By comparison, it took the Mules eight games to pick up their second win last fall. According to Meola, the secret to this season’s fast start has been a strong bond and desire to win.

"We have really good team chemistry," Meola said. "We all get along so well and want to win so bad. We know we have to work hard for each other if we want to achieve our goals. We are all on the same page right now, and we keep getting better each game."
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