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Saturday, April 9, 2011

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Men's lacrosse shuts down Green Terror
to snap three-game skid

Ian de Ruiter
Sophomore Ian de Ruiter helped the Mule defense limit the Green Terror to one goal or less in three of four quarters. He also dished out the first assist of his career in the second quarter.
Forgive Charlie Helm if his celebration was not quite up to par.

After all, it’s been awhile since the senior on the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team has had to think about what to do after scoring a goal.

So when his second-quarter shot snuck just between the McDaniel goalie and the left post, he simply pumped his fist and hugged three of his teammates.

But that shot, the first point of Helm’s Mule career, did more than just snap his scoring drought; it also helped the Mules break their three-game losing streak with an 8-5 win over the Green Terror.

“I’m pretty relieved now that I’ve had time to think about it,” Helm said. “It’s been a long time coming, and I’m happy I’ve finally scored a goal.

“But honestly, at the time, my mind was totally in the game, and I didn’t even realize it at first. It was important for us to get out in front early, so I was just glad that I could help us get the lead.”

After a scoreless opening 15 minutes, Helm’s goal was part of a 4-0 Muhlenberg run to start the second quarter.

Junior Clint Watkins struck first when he closed in on the crease and bounced a shot past the goalie just before receiving a hard check.

Then Helm, sophomore Jack Reilly and senior Brent Siebold scored back-to-back-to-back to give Muhlenberg (4-7, 2-4) a four-goal lead.

“Getting that lead was huge,” senior goalie Mike Horowitz, who made 16 saves, said. “It helped us play a lot more relaxed on defense, and we weren’t worried about giving up a goal that could cost us the lead.

“We did a good job of communicating, rotating and not giving them easy looks. They had a lot of shots, but most of them were low angles and fairly easy saves for me.”

After being held scoreless for more than 29 minutes,McDaniel finally scored its first goal of the game 17 seconds before the half to make it 4-1 at the break.

Chase Nadell
Junior Chase Nadell added an insurance goal with less than two minutes remaining to put the Green Terror away for good.
The Green Terror (5-7, 2-4) seized that momentum and outscored Muhlenberg, 3-2, in the third to stay within striking distance entering the final quarter.

But the Mule defense once again tightened the clamps, and Siebold scored midway through the quarter to stretch the lead back to three.

That would be more than enough for Horowitz and company, which tied its season low for goals allowed.

The win keeps Muhlenberg’s CC playoff hopes alive. With a logjam of four teams sitting at 3-2 in the standings, the Mules, currently in a three-way tie for sixth place, could still work their way into the postseason by winning their final two conference games and receiving some help.

But all that was on Helm’s mind as he walked off the field, other than the satisfaction of finally getting his first goal as a Mule, was being able to celebrate a win for the first time in two weeks.

“We all knew we’ve had a lot of close calls this year,” Helm said. “So when they got back into the game we got together and told ourselves that we were going to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

“We showed a lot of heart out there today and showed the kind of team we can be. Now we just need to maintain this level of intensity from here on out and make a run.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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