Men's Soccer Blanks McDaniel in Rough CC Opener

Saturday, September 17, 2011 - page 3

Jacob Joseph
Joseph is hugged by senior Josh Luginbuhl after scoring the first goal of his career.
It may have been futbol, but the game the Muhlenberg and McDaniel men’s soccer teams looked an awful lot like its American cousin.

The physical play associated with the Centennial Conference was back at Varsity Field, so it was only fitting that one of the biggest and most physical players on the field, Mule junior Danny Way, made the biggest play to help lift Muhlenberg past the Green Terror, 2-0, in the conference opener for both teams.

Way took a pass from senior Steve Giannacio and buried it in the upper left corner of the goal in the 11th minute to give the Mules an early lead. From there, the defense made sure the goal would stand up, pitching its fourth straight shutout and extending the Mules scoreless streak to 403 minutes.

“I just closed my eyes and hit it,” Way said. “It was a great pass from Steve, and I was in a good spot. It was nice to score early so we could play with a lead, especially with how good our defense has been playing. They have been solid all season, and tonight was another good game.”

Danny Way
Way battles with a pair of McDaniel players. His goal against the Green Terror gave him 40 points for his career.
After Way’s goal, the two teams traded missed chances and plenty of "love taps." They combined for 25 fouls and three yellow cards on the afternoon.

One of McDaniel’s best chances to score came on a header at an open net in the 72nd minute, but junior Kyle Plifka used his own head to clear the ball and save the goal.

The Green Terror then rattled off three shots in a quick, 60-second flurry with less than two minutes to play, but junior Ari Nutovits saved the first two shots, and the third sailed high.

Sophomore Jacob Joseph added an exclamation point to the win when he sidestepped a defender at the top of the box and buried a shot in the lower left corner to make it 2-0 with just 11 seconds to play.

The win moves the Mules to 5-0 for the first time since 2005, and more importantly, according to Way, it helped them adjust to the more intense style of play that they are going to experience during the conference season.

“That’s what you’re going to get in the Centennial Conference,” Way said. “The level is much higher in conference because if you lose a game you could put yourself out of contention for the conference tournament. Every team in this conference is good, so every game is a battle. It’s going to be that way for the rest of the year.”
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