Field Hockey Goes Double Overtime to Beat Widener

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - page 2

The way it had been dominating the latter stages of its non-conference battle with Widener, the Muhlenberg field hockey team had a feeling a game-winner was coming. It took a while, but the premonition came true.

Dayna Hovern Junior Kayleigh Thies sent the Mules home happy with the winning goal just over five minutes into the second overtime in a 2-1 decision, handing Muhlenberg its third straight victory and fifth in the last six contests. The win was the first for the Mules (7-7) in double overtime since 2009, and a much-deserved result in a game they controlled down the stretch. Muhlenberg had advantages of 21-7 in shots and penalty corners.

“It was just a matter of time,” said Thies, who redirected a shot by freshman Emily Boyle into the cage with 9:57 to play. “We were playing great defense and offense, using quick feet. It was great.”

Muhlenberg, which defeated Gettysburg in the closing seconds of regulation its last time out, certainly had to work for its second straight late winner. After a scoreless first half, the Pride (4-12) broke the ice less than a minute and a half after intermission, putting the Mules in comeback mode. Muhlenberg waited until 14 minutes remained to equalize, doing so on a tally by senior Dayna Hovern (left), who managed to get off a shot in the middle of a scrum in front of the cage to post her fourth goal of the season and the 15th of her career. After that, it was all Mules.

Muhlenberg switched into high gear after regulation, taking all but one of the 11 shots in overtime before Thies and Boyle combined to put the contest on ice. With the Widener defense stretched to the limit, the Mules took to the transition game to break the stalemate.

Men’s Soccer Falls on Late Goal

The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team put on a strong showing at 17th-ranked Dickinson but lost on a goal with just under five minutes remaining.

The Mules (7-7-1, 2-4-1) had a 17-14 advantage in shots but were shut out for the third time this season.

The loss dropped Muhlenberg into a tie for seventh place in the Centennial Conference with two games remaining. The Mules are three points behind Franklin & Marshall and Ursinus, who are tied for the fifth and final playoff spot.
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Thies was played in on a fast break to start the final sequence, but her wraparound attempt was stoned by the Widener keeper. The ball found its way out to Boyle, who wound up for a shot and sent the ball towards the right post, where Thies was waiting to deposit it for her 10th goal of the season, giving the Mules a thrilling win in their first overtime game of the year. Once the field shrunk to seven players on each side, Muhlenberg’s speed made all the difference.

“We were stressed out because it was our first overtime game,” Thies said. “We’ve been practicing seven-on-seven all the time, and we’re really good at it. We’re all really fast, so we can use all the space.”

Though the victory did nothing to improve the Mules’ positioning in the Centennial Conference playoff chase, getting it in dramatic fashion gave them plenty of momentum heading into a crucial CC showdown with Ursinus on Saturday.

“It would be nice to win by four, but getting a win this way is awesome,” Thies said.

Muhlenberg, which currently sits all alone in fourth place in the conference standings, can clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Haverford in the regular-season finale. However, a win over the Bears this weekend, combined with other results, could send the Mules to the CC playoffs for the first time since 2007.

“We have a very good shot of making playoffs,” Thies said. “We’re really excited for each other because we haven’t made it in a long time.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.