Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2003
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Mules to Face No. 6 Stevens Tech
It took one penalty kick late in regulation and more after overtime, but the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team advanced in a shootout, 3-1, after tying Gordon, 2-2.

Junior goalkeeper Chris Davis made three
Chris Davis
Davis made three saves in regulation and one in the second overtime before his shootout heroics.
outstanding PK saves and senior Evan Smallwood converted his second penalty kick of the game to clinch a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and a Friday match with Stevens Tech.

Junior Ryan Melchior made the first PK for Muhlenberg (17-4-1), and sophomore Adam Milberg scored in between two of three straight diving stops by Davis to set up Smallwood for the clincher. Davis, who refused to watch while the Mules shot, seemed to see the Gordon shots before they happened.

“I follow their hips,” Davis said. “If they open their hips I can tell which way they’re going.”

The last of five shooters for the Mules, Smallwood ripped the ball into the right side of the net. It was a familiar position for Smallwood, whose penalty kick goal with five minutes remaining sent the game to overtime.

“It just comes down to who can deal with the pressure,”Smallwood said. “I said right away I wanted to shoot last.”

It looked early on like there might not be any late-game pressure on the Mules. They outshot the Fighting Scots (14-3-5), 13-3, in the first half and led, 1-0, on a Nick Richardson goal in the 36th minute.

After picking up the ball just outside the box, sophomore Matt Pitetti snuck a cross past a defender to Richardson, waiting near the goal on the left side. Richardson put it in and the Mules pulled into cruise control.

Gordon came out strong in the second half and quickly tied the score when Taylor Stuckey headed in a free kick. They took the lead on a goal by top scorer Matt Smith 22 minutes later.

The Mules picked up their attacking play, but missed a few chances. The closest call was a long shot by sophomore Christopher King that hit the inside of the left post.

The pressure paid off when a Scot handball in the box led to Smallwood’s tying PK.

The Mules had the better of play in the two overtime periods, outshooting the Scots, 8-1, and almost ending the game when a blistering shot by Pitetti flew just over the goal with two minutes left in the second sudden-death period.

Click here for box score.

The road does not get any easier for the Mules after this thriller. Muhlenberg will face sixth-ranked and once-beaten Stevens Tech, Friday at 1:30 at Drew. The Ducks’ only loss was a 1-0 decision at Muhlenberg in the third game of the season.

Smallwood said Stevens Tech, coached by former Mule Tim O’Donohue, plays a possession-oriented style similar to Muhlenberg’s.

“They’re a very good team,” said Smallwood. “It’s going to be a battle.”

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Last updated November 12, 2003