Field Hockey Defends Corners, Strokes to Beat Swarthmore

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - page 2

The Muhlenberg field hockey team entered the final three games of the season painted into a corner, almost certainly needing wins in all three to have a shot at a Centennial Conference playoff berth.

Heather Porrini
Sophomore Heather Porrini assisted on Alston's goal for her first point of the season.
In the first of those three games, the Mules spent plenty of time in the corner, but they emerged with an important 1-0 win against Swarthmore.

Combined with Johns Hopkins’ surprising loss to Dickinson, the win put Muhlenberg (9-5, 4-4) into a tie for fifth place with Ursinus, its opponent in next Saturday’s regular-season finale. The Mules play their home finale against Gettysburg (5-2) this Saturday.

Muhlenberg had to defend 23 penalty corners against the Garnet (8-7, 3-5), which beat Gettysburg just last week. The Mules had only seven corners themselves, but they scored the lone goal off of one of them.

“We’re kind of used to it – we’ve had a lot of defensive corners,” said junior Mariah Alston, who blasted in a shot from the left wing in the 22nd minute for her first career goal. “We know how to stay strong and get the ball out of the circle.”

Getting the ball out of the circle didn’t come so easily at the start of the game, and it led to an incredible sequence that wound up being the difference.

On the second of back-to-back corners by the Garnet, junior Ashley DeAngelis made a defensive save with her body on a high shot. Swarthmore was awarded a penalty stroke, and senior Kristen Dornenburg reached to the left with her glove to stop the shot.

Just 15 seconds later, DeAngelis made another defensive save, and again the Garnet was given a stroke. This time a different shooter shot to the same area, and again Dornenburg saved it.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Alston. “She did an awesome job.”

Dornenburg (seven saves) and the rest of the defense finished up the job, recording the team’s fourth shutout in the last seven games to keep its playoff hopes alive.

“We know that we need these wins to get where we want to be,” said Alston. “We have to keep this going for the next two games.”
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