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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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Field hockey, volleyball


On Saturday, sophomore Cody Antonini scored the game-winning goal for the Muhlenberg men’s soccer team with 7:08 to play.

He needed just a couple more seconds to do the same on Wednesday.

Antonini scored with 7:06 remaining on a remarkable play to lift the Mules (6-2, 3-0 CC) to a thrilling 1-0 victory over No. 10 Dickinson at Varsity Field. The sophomore beat three Dickinson defenders in the middle of the field and rifled a shot into the bottom right corner to give the Mules the lead and send the Muhlenberg crowd into a frenzy.

Click at left to watch a video of Antonini’s goal.

“It’s nice beating a nationally ranked team, but it’s bigger beating a team in our own conference,” said junior Eric Williams. “Especially starting the season 1-2 at home, we wanted to bring back that exciting feeling to our home crowd.”

With temperatures dropping into the low 50s at game time, both squads started cold, as neither recorded a shot in the first 14 minutes. But the Mules had perhaps their best scoring chance of the first half in the 15th minute, when Antonini made a long run down the right side of the field and fired a shot toward the left corner that was stopped by the diving Dickinson keeper.

Four minutes later Antonini sent a free kick into the box that was headed by junior Tom Reilly but stopped again by the Red Devils. Dickinson had several good chances late in the half, but could not muster a shot on goal.

Adison Weseloh
Senior Adison Weseloh nearly scored in the 71st minute, putting a high shot from deep outside the box just over the crossbar.
Play opened up in the second half as both teams looked to break the tie. Junior Jason Daniels made his only two saves in the first five minutes of the period to keep Dickinson off the board.

The Mules finally broke through on Antonini’s shot in the 83rd minute – his ninth goal of the season. Antonini has scored in all eight games this year, the longest streak from the start of a season by a Mule since 1971.

“Cody’s having a hell of a season, and we’re just trying to get him the rock,” said Williams. “The best part is he’s extremely humble about it and understands it’s a team game.”

The defense held the Red Devils to just one shot the rest of the way. Behind Daniels and the back four, Muhlenberg has recorded five straight shutout wins for the first time since 1994 and has not allowed a goal in 466:16 of play.

Dickinson's only other loss this season came to No. 1 Messiah, and its most recent victory came against No. 3 Swarthmore. The Red Devils (7-2, 2-1 CC) had not been shut out all year.

“You have to give it up for our defense,” said Williams. “Daniels has been great in goal. He doesn’t have the save totals that a lot of goalies have, and that has to be attributed to our defense.”

The win gives the Mules sole possession of first place in the Centennial Conference, and was their first against a nationally ranked team since topping No. 7 New Jersey in 2007. Not a bad debut for their new home grey uniforms.

“We were a little skeptical at first because we’ve never worn grey before,” said Williams. “But that was a great win in them, so we’re pretty happy with them right now.”
Click here box score.

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