Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2001
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Mules to Host Tournament Next Weekend
The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team needed a win and some help to qualify for the Centennial Conference playoffs, and it got both today.

The Mules (11-5, 5-3) overcame an early 1-0 deficit to defeat Franklin & Marshall (10-3, 6-2) by a 6-1 score. In other games, Johns Hopkins (14-2, 8-0) blanked Gettysburg (13-4, 5-3), 2-0, Western Maryland (12-4, 5-3) toppled Dickinson, 3-1, and in the game that really helped, Ursinus shocked Haverford (7-8, 4-4) in overtime, 2-1.

Muhlenberg is now in a three-way tie for third place with Gettysburg and Western Maryland and needs only to beat Ursinus in its regular-season finale to clinch a berth in the four-team tournament (subject to review by the CC office on Thursday).

F&M, which was ranked seventh in the Mid-Atlantic Region and had allowed a total of six goals in its last 10 games, drew first blood only 6:34 into the contest. But junior Michael Hochkeppel tied the score 12 minutes later with a ground shot from the right side, and sophomore Mark Lee fed classmate Evan Smallwood in the box at 29:38 for the go-ahead goal.

The Mules dominated the second half and got a big break when a Diplomat defender deflected a cross from sophomore Justin Marx into the net. Great individual efforts by seniors Chris Rowley and Greg Ramos and Lee accounted for the final three goals as Muhlenberg reached its highest offensive output in a CC game this year.

“When they scored the first goal, it was like, here we go again,” admitted Hochkeppel. “We tend to get down on ourselves when we fall behind, but we bounced back rather nicely tonight. Coach [Jeff] Tipping just told us to keep playing our game, and when we play our game we do all right.”

Muhlenberg now has a season-best four-game winning streak and has outscored its opponents 14-1 in the four games.

“We changed our lineup three games ago, and since then each game we’ve gotten much better and better,” noted Hochkeppel.

Click here for box score.

The Muhlenberg volleyball team, picked to finish sixth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, clinched a share of the regular-season championship and the top seed for the CC Tournament by blanking Ursinus, 3-0.

The Mules (19-9, 8-2) tied Gettysburg and Haverford for first place, but earned the right to host the tournament by beating both of those teams. The one-day tournament will be held in Memorial Hall on Saturday, Nov. 3, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Muhlenberg will play fourth-seeded Johns Hopkins (16-13, 7-3) in one semifinal, with second-seeded Gettysburg (18-7, 8-2) and third-seeded Haverford (20-8, 8-2) squaring off in the other semi. Franklin & Marshall, the defending champion, failed to qualify.

Junior Meaghan Billie recorded six of her team-high 12 kills in the first game to help Muhlenberg get off to a quick start against Ursinus. The 12 kills gave her 300 on the season, making her the third player in team history to reach 300 in back-to-back years.

Lisa Giammalvo Junior Lisa Giammalvo (right) recorded kills on all four of her attempts in the first game and finished with 10 kills to go along with nine digs. Senior Laura Funsten had 36 assists and nine digs, while sophomore Maria Poluka recorded a team-leading 12 digs.

Click here for box score.

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Last updated October 24, 2001