Women's Soccer Returns Home to Stun Sixth-Ranked Hopkins

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cross country Men’s soccer Football

It was Homecoming in more ways than one for the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team, which was playing at Varsity Field for the first time in three weeks after six straight road games. And the Mules celebrated in a big way, shutting out No. 6 Johns Hopkins, 2-0.

It was the third time in four years that Muhlenberg defeated a Blue Jay team ranked in the top 10. Hopkins (6-2-1, 1-1) had not lost to a Centennial Conference opponent since falling in Allentown two years ago.

Taylor Pini
Pini's goal gave Johns Hopkins its first two-goal deficit in a CC game since 2009, when Muhlenberg won 2-0 in Baltimore.
After dropping three games in a row, the last a double-overtime loss to CC rival Haverford, the Mules had a lot to prove to themselves, Hopkins and the Muhlenberg faithful.

“We knew the overtime game against Haverford could have gone either way. Losing in the second overtime was more motivation for us to come out and play well today. It also helped that it was Homecoming and all the alumni were here. I was playing for them,” said junior CJ Graetzer.

Graetzer got the Mules on the scoreboard after 15 minutes of play when freshman goalie Francesca Cobuzzi saved a shot and punted the ball down the field in Graetzer’s direction. After just a few touches, Graetzer fired a shot from halfway between the midfield circle and the 18-yard box. The long ball soared over the goalie’s head and into the back of the net as cheers and gasps erupted from the fans.

“I was really surprised that it went in. I just shot it and hoped for the best. I feel like the goals you score are always off the most surprising shots,” laughed Graetzer.

Cobuzzi saw a great deal of action in the net as Hopkins fired off 32 shots. The freshman made a career-high 17 saves, 10 of those coming in the second half.

“We knew they were going to come out hard in the second half. One-to-nothing is a dangerous score and we wanted to make sure we had the shutout. This was the best win I’ve ever been a part of,” said Graetzer.

Hopkins actually put the ball in the net twice, once in the first half and once in the second, but both times the Blue Jays were called offside just prior to the shots.

“On the second goal, I didn’t think it was offside, so I got nervous. It was very fortunate for us,” said a relieved Graetzer.

The Mules struck again less than five minutes after the second offside call against Johns Hopkins. When the Blue Jays made a lackadaisical pass in the backfield, freshman Taylor Pini stepped in and broke away toward the left side of the 18-yard box. She fired a low shot past a diving goalie for her first career goal as a Mule.

The Muhlenberg defense held sophomore Hannah Kronick, who had scored three hat tricks in her last seven games, to just two shots on the day.

“Coming into today we just had to get our recent losses out of our heads. We did a lot well. Our offense kept the ball and our defense was sound. All their shots were outside the 18. We just wanted to come in and play and have fun,” said Graetzer.
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