Men's Lacrosse Can't Hold Off Nationally Ranked Stevens

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - page 2

Jason Monroe
Taking the X for the first time in his career, sophomore defenseman Jason Monroe won six of his nine faceoffs and picked up a career-high four ground balls.
Someone with no knowledge of Division III lacrosse walking by Scotty Wood Stadium at the start of the Muhlenberg men’s game against Stevens might have thought the Mules were the top-10 team coming into the matchup.

They jumped out to a quick lead thanks to three goals in the first four minutes and hung right with the No. 7 Ducks for more than 35 minutes. But Stevens pulled away in the third quarter and held on for an 18-14 win. In the loss, the Mules posted three hat tricks in the same game for the first time since 2007.

After Muhlenberg won the opening faceoff, senior Alex Ardolino made a run down the right side of the box and beat the keeper to the far post just 39 seconds into the game. It was the Mules’ fastest goal since they scored 16 seconds in against St. Mary’s (Md.) last year.

Just 40 seconds later, junior Michael Carpetto drew the defense to the right side and found senior Corey Aferiat, who buried the one-timer from just in front of the cage to make it 2-0 before Stevens had registered a shot.

Junior Ian Jones almost made it three shots, three goals for the Mules after winning the ensuing faceoff, but his attempt fired off the crossbar. However, less than two minutes later, Aferiat scored off a feed from junior Doug Rheiner to stretch the lead to three. It was the first time Muhlenberg (2-3) scored three times in the first four minutes since they did it against Moravian in 2010.

Stevens (4-0) responded by scoring five straight, but the Mules pulled even by the end of the quarter on back-to-back goals by freshman Jon Thomas and Rheiner. They took the lead after Rheiner scored the first goal of the second period, and regained it when Jones scored off a faceoff win 4:17 before the break.

But the Ducks scored six straight goals spanning halftime to take control.

The Mules pulled to within 15-11 when Aferiat and Rheiner completed their respective hat tricks with consecutive goals early in the fourth quarter, but Stevens scored three straight to seal the win.

Ardolino added a hat trick of his own to move into ninth place in school history with 48 career goals. Thomas added a pair of helpers to his goal, and sophomore Matthew Gallo assisted on one of Reilly’s goals for his first career point.

Reilly finished with four points split evenly between goals and assists to help the Mules reach their highest point total since 2010. He now ranks 10th on the Mule career assists list with 20. Junior Zach Weiner doubled his career high with four caused turnovers, while junior Ian de Ruiter picked up a career-high five ground balls.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.