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Muhlenberg College

Friday, September 18, 2009

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The Muhlenberg field hockey team entered Friday’s game having already played three overtime games and another that was decided on a goal with less than four minutes to play.

Apparently, the Mules just had to top all that.

Muhlenberg edged Washington 1-0 on a last-minute goal in the Centennial Conference opener in another thrilling, down-to-the-wire game that may have been their most exciting yet.

Chessie Martinez
Junior Chessie Martinez snuck a shot past the Washington goalie late in the first half, but a defender cleared it to keep things even.
Junior Jess Kasza scored the game’s lone goal with just 1:11 remaining to lift the Mules to a victory. Senior Kristen Sabia sent a penalty corner to senior Tara Cohn, who found Kasza on a perfect pass near the top of the circle. Kasza’s shot found its way to the back of the net for her first goal of the year.

“In the second half we were thinking, ‘We don’t know what we’re going to do if this game goes into overtime,’” said Kasza. “After all that overtime, we knew we needed to end it before 70 minutes was up.”

The Mules’ late goal was fitting not only because of their stretch of exciting games recently, but also because they actually showed up late.

Traffic on the long bus ride to Chestertown, Md., delayed Muhlenberg’s arrival and gave the team little time to warm up. But after failing to record a shot in the game’s first 25 minutes, the Mules found their stride late in the first half and sent a flood of attempts at the Shorewomen’s net.

Washington proved up to the task, and both sides went back-and-forth in an exciting second half. Sophomore Brittany DeAngelis made a key defensive save at the 39:00 mark, and freshman Kristen Dornenburg made five of her six saves in the second period. (corrected 9/21)

The Mules were happy not just to avoid another overtime game, but also to start the season on the right foot in conference play.

“It’s very, very nice to win that first conference game,” said Kasza. “Being first in the conference is a good place to start.”

As for another dramatic finish?

“I really wish we didn’t have such a flair for the dramatic, but I guess we do,” said Kasza. “The fact that our games do end so dramatically shows that we play hard as a team from start to finish.”
Click here for box score.

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