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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

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Women’s soccer preview

Season Preview
Men’s Soccer Looks for Sweeter Finish

In last season’s Centennial Conference Tournament first round match at Gettysburg, the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team battled the Bullets to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes, only to be eliminated in round nine of the penalty shootout, 8-7. After that bitter
Karim Assous
Assous leads active Mule players in career points (28) and assists (12).
conclusion to the season, the Mules are eager to sweeten up this season. Many on the team like its chances to do just that.

While last year’s young squad had only six juniors and seniors, there are 11 upperclassmen in this year’s group. Last season’s large freshman class gained valuable experience, which has been a source of optimism, as has the arrival of another solid and sizable crop of first years.

“I expect a lot more out of the team this year, a lot more wins, to go further in the CC Tournament and possibly win it,” said senior midfielder Jonathan Kliewer, who won All-CC accolades last year and ranks second on the team with 26 career points.

Junior midfielder Greg Leischner agreed. “We didn’t have much experience last year,” he said, “We brought back almost our whole lineup and some good freshmen, so I definitely expect to go deeper in the playoffs.” Leischner was one of four Mule players to start every match and finished the season with two goals.

Another point of optimism has been the strong team dynamic this season, as last year’s large freshman class has had a full season to incorporate into the squad.

“We have real good chemistry on this team. Everyone gets along really well. A lot of us hang out off the field as well, so that definitely helps us with camaraderie on the field,” Leischner said. “Everyone’s a group this year.”

The Mules will be led by senior Peter Bennett and junior Billy Dalton, who have been named captains.

A 6-5 goalkeeper, Bennett enters his final campaign
Peter Bennett
Bennett has improved his goals-against average and save percentage every year at Muhlenberg.
coming off of his best collegiate season, in which he recorded a 0.83 goals-against average, a .819 save percentage and five shutouts.

Dalton, a central midfielder, garnered all-region honors last year after leading the team with seven goals and 16 points, both ranking in the CC’s top 10.

Senior Karim Assous and junior Brendan Carroll return as important components of the Mules’ attack. Assous played on the flank as well as at the top of the formation last season and tied for third place on the team with five points and two goals on his way to earning All-CC recognition.

Carroll ranked second on the squad last season with four goals and 10 points despite starting only nine matches. Sophomore Adison Weseloh, who scored two goals last year, adds depth at the forward position along with classmates Eric Gonzalez and Eric Miller.

Junior Steven Tenenzapf figures to play a role in the Mules’ midfield, which is due for a slight reshuffling as two of last year’s three seniors played there. Tenenzapf tied for third on the team last season with five points from one goal and a team-best three assists. Sophomores Mike Gehrmann and Sky Rimmele also face opportunities for increased playing time.

Juniors A.J. Barnold and Andrew Brick and sophomore Samuel Hayden are the most experienced returning players in the back four. Barnold and Brick started the last five games of last year, when Muhlenberg allowed only three goals, and Hayden began the season as a starter before suffering an injury. Junior Phil Lichtenwalner will push for a starting spot.

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