Men's Lacrosse Upsets No. 20 St. Mary's

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - page 2

Thankfully, the miserable weather from Wednesday’s game at Stevens did not carry over for the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team. More importantly, the momentum did.

Danny Thomas
Junior Danny Thomas saw significant time on defense in the second half.
After coming back from an eight-goal deficit against the sixth-ranked team in Division III, only to lose in overtime, the Mules returned to the field at home on a beautiful sunny day and defeated another nationally ranked team, No. 20 St. Mary’s (Md.).

The 10-6 victory was Muhlenberg’s first against a nationally ranked team since 2011, and the four-goal margin of victory was the Mules’ biggest ever in a win against a nationally ranked team.

“It definitely gave us some confidence taking Stevens into overtime,” said junior Jason Monroe. “It really got us to see how good we can play.”

The Mules (3-3) played really well against the Seahawks (2-3), who were coming off an overtime loss to a nationally ranked team themselves. On Tuesday, St. Mary’s led eighth-ranked Washington College by four goals late in the third quarter before falling 13-12.

Muhlenberg made sure there wouldn’s be overtime in this game, taking control midway through the first quarter and maintaining at least a two-goal cushion for most of the final 45 minutes.

Senior Doug Rheiner scored four goals (including the 50th of his career) on only six shots to complement some new sources of point production, and sophomore Adam Schlauch made 13 saves in goal.

Jason Monroe
Rheiner (2), who has 52 career goals, congratulates Monroe after his first.
The Seahawks scored the first goal of the game with 8:12 left in the first, but their only lead would last just 55 seconds, until sophomore Jon Thomas tied the game. Rheiner’s man-up goal with 2:47 left in the quarter put the Mules ahead to stay, and sophomore Jason Mertz scored with just 3.6 seconds remaining to give Muhlenberg a 3-1 lead. Sophomore Pat Farrell assisted on the goal for his first career point.

After St. Mary’s cut the gap to 3-2 in the second, Monroe got to live every longstick’s dream when he picked up a rebound of a Seahawk shot, ran down the field and scored his first career goal.

“It’s exciting because you don’t get that chance very often,” remarked Monroe, who said he scored two goals in high school. “I was lucky that my shot went in.”

The Mules struck at the end of a quarter again, with goals by Rheiner (49.2 seconds left) and senior Michael Carpetto (27.9 seconds) extending the lead to 6-2 at the break. Rheiner’s goal came after a clear by sophomore Connor Winter, who recorded his first career point on the assist.

St. Mary’s scored the first two goals of the second half to close to within two, but netted only one goal over the next 22 minutes as the defense held strong despite facing 27 second-half shots.

“We work well as a unit and communicate well,” said Monroe. “Our defense is a really tight-knit group, and it was good to show how well we can play against a good team.”

Monroe and seniors James Coleman and Ian de Ruiter each picked up three ground balls, and Schlauch made nine of his saves in the fourth quarter to prevent the type of comeback that the Mules had pulled off in their last game.

Junior Casey Gill scored his first goal of the season in the third quarter, and senior Jack Reilly, who recorded two assists to move into a tie for third on the program’s all-time list, capped the scoring by shooting into an empty net with 2:46 left. Senior Ian Jones won 12 of 19 faceoffs, mostly against a Seahawk player who entered the game eighth in Division III in winning percentage.

Muhlenberg now has more wins than it did all last year as it gears up for the start of Centennial Conference play in two weeks.

“I think we’re finally starting to put things together,” said Monroe. “We just have to keep our momentum.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.