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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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Women’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, baseball

men’s lacrosse takes No. 8 washington to ot

Until the Centennial Conference adds horseshoes as a championship sport, “almost” won’t count in the standings. But the Muhlenberg men’s lacrosse team’s near-upset of Washington did count for something.

go-ahead goal
Fletcher passes to Lolley (34) for the goal that gave the Mules an 11-10 lead.
go-ahead goal
Casey O’Connor scored his third goal of the game after circling behind the net with 41.9 seconds left in overtime to give the eighth-ranked Shoremen a 12-11 victory in a spectacular Centennial Conference opener at Scotty Wood Stadium.

In its first five years since regaining varsity status, the Mule men’s lacrosse team hadn’t come close to Washington, losing five games by an average margin of more than nine goals. Last year, Muhlenberg fell behind early, 6-1, and was never in the game.

In throwing a scare into the Shoremen this time around, the Mules played with the confidence they will need to compete with the high-caliber Centennial teams. They did not back down at two key points when it appeared that Washington would take command.

The first came right off the bat. The Shoremen (6-0, 1-0) won the opening faceoff and unleashed a barrage of hard shots at Muhlenberg sophomore goalie Andrew Bell. Washington took the first 11 shots of the game, four on two extra-man opportunities, but Bell and the defense held firm. After one save, Bell passed off to sophomore Ari Jacobson, who ran the length of the field and scored on the Mules’ first shot 6:50 into the game.

The goal inspired Muhlenberg, which went on to control play for most of the remainder of the first half. The Mules (2-2, 0-1) went into the locker room ahead 8-4 after junior Nick Fletcher netted his second goal of the game with just two ticks on the clock.

Washington dominated the third quarter, scoring five straight goals to take a 9-8 lead. Fletcher stopped the bleeding by converting a pass from Mickey Norton (who earlier in the game had recorded his 100th career point) with 1:27 left in the quarter, and the teams headed into the final frame tied.

Five minutes into the fourth, senior Tim Dwyre forced a Shoreman attacker into a turnover. Sophomore Matthew Schroeder picked up the ground ball and started a break that ended with freshman Brent Siebold scoring the go-ahead goal.

Washington tied the score at 10 with 3:40 remaining. Muhlenberg went ahead again at the 2:04 mark when junior Andrew Lolley scored his second goal of the game, but the Shoremen netted the equalizer with just 53.7 seconds left in regulation.

Washington won the opening faceoff in overtime and took a shot that Bell saved and controlled. The Mules’ lone overtime possession ended when a pass from behind the cage was intercepted with about two minutes left. The Shoremen took possession, setting the stage for O’Connor’s game winner.

Fletcher finished with three goals and an assist for his first career hat trick. Jacobson, Lolley and senior Kyle Farris scored two goals apiece, and senior Tim Martin picked up a game-high six ground balls.
Click here for box score.

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