Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, October 27, 2001
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Women’s Soccer Advances to Championship
Football Holds Off Ursinus in CC Finale
Carter Ties Long-Standing Record

Senior Joshua Carter’s school record-tying 40th career touchdown kicked off a run of 23 consecutive points as the Muhlenberg football team defeated Ursinus, 23-20, in its last Centennial Conference game of the season.

The win gives the Mules (6-2 overall) a final CC record of 5-1, their best since 1986. Muhlenberg was eliminated from contention for the CC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, however, when Johns Hopkins lost at Dickinson in overtime. The Mules can still tie Western Maryland for the league title, but the Green Terror would get the bid anyway.

Carter’s 53-yard catch-and-run with 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter erased a 7-0 lead the Bears had taken just a minute earlier. Carter finished with six catches for 95 yards and, with his 40th touchdown, tied the 74-year-old school record set by Nick Borrell (1924-27).

Muhlenberg took the lead for good with 5:11 to play in the half when sophomore Dan Miller blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing possession, freshman Zack Trach scored his first career touchdown, from a yard out, to make it 16-7.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Mules extended their lead when junior Justin Jones hit classmate Alfredo Mercuri for a 63-yard touchdown pass.

Ursinus (4-4, 2-3) scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to make the game interesting. The Bears got the ball back at their own 20 with 1:18 to play, but the Muhlenberg defense recorded two sacks (by junior Mike Koth and sophomore Nick Otranto) and forced an intentional grounding.

Koth finished the game with six tackles and two pass breakups, while Otranto had two forced fumbles. Senior Jon-Paul Skarpetowski led the Mules with 11 tackles, and senior Erik Hammar picked off a pair of passes.

The Mule defense held Shearrod Duncan, who entered the game as the leading rusher in Division III at 180.4 yards per game, to 121 on 25 carries.

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Three Muhlenberg runners earned All-Centennial Conference honors at the CC Championships, held today at Dickinson.

The Mule men matched their finish from 2000 (which was their best ever) by coming in fourth. The women moved up a place to sixth.

Junior Brendan Gallagher earned All-CC second-team status for the second year in a row, placing 11th with a time of 26:31.0. He was the second runner across the finish line not from Haverford. Sophomore Rob Uniszkiewicz came in 14th to join Gallagher on the All-CC second team. It was the first time ever the Muhlenberg men had two runners make all-conference.

For the women, senior Katie Garrett finished 13th, to earn All-CC honors for the first time in her career.

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• Men’s Soccer: The seeds for the CC men’s soccer tournament were finalized today. Johns Hopkins defeated Franklin & Marshall, 3-2, knocking the Diplomats out of the playoffs. Muhlenberg will be the third seed and face second-seeded Western Maryland in one semifinal. The other semi will match Johns Hopkins against Gettysburg.

• Volleyball: Baptist Bible 3, Muhlenberg 1. Muhlenberg (19-10) won the first game, but wound up dropping its regular-season finale in four games. Juniors Meaghan Billie (18) and Lisa Giammalvo (13) and sophomore Maria Poluka (12) each hit double figures in kills, while Giammalvo and Poluka recorded 15 digs apiece.

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Mules to Face Hopkins for Title

Freshman Rebecca Armstrong scored two goals, one in each half, to pace the Muhlenberg women’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over Franklin & Marshall in a semifinal match of the Centennial Conference Tournament.

The win puts the Mules (17-2) into the championship game against Johns Hopkins (12-3-3), a 2-0 winner over Gettysburg. That game will be played at Muhlenberg at 1:00 on Sunday, and is scheduled to be broadcast live by WMUH 91.7. To listen in, go to the WMUH Web site and click on Real Audio.

This will mark the second time in three years that the Mules and Blue Jays have played for a tournament championship. In 1999, the two teams faced off in the ECAC Mid-Atlantic title game and played to a 1-1 tie. Muhlenberg captured the title on penalty kicks. Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series against Muhlenberg, 5-4-1, but the Mules have won four of the five matches played in Allentown, all of which ended with a final score of 1-0.

“Everyone on the team played hard for 90 minutes today,” said Armstrong. “There were no let-downs and everyone gave 100 percent. I am excited about my two goals but I was more concerned about contributing to the team any way that I could.”

The victory extended Muhlenberg’s school-record winning streak to 15 games. Junior Kim Laurino made six saves to give the Mules their school-record 11th shutout of the season.

“It is exciting to be a freshman and be a contributor this early in my career,” added Armstrong, who is the team’s second-leading scorer with eight goals and has a team-high seven assists. “This season has been great. We have worked so hard up to this point, I hope we finish strong and win a conference championship.”

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Last updated October 27, 2001