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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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women’s lacrosse topples dickinson

A few years ago, the idea that the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team could beat a nationally ranked opponent would have come across like an April Fools joke.

In 2006 and 2007, when this year’s seniors were freshmen and sophomores, the Mules lost to the “Big Three” of Centennial Conference women’s
Lauren DeCarle
Sophomore Lauren DeCarle tied Farrell with a game-high six ground balls.
lacrosse – Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg – by an average of almost 11 goals.

But that was then, and this is now. And this Muhlenberg team is no joke. The Mules posted perhaps the biggest win in program history when they knocked off Dickinson, 12-10, in the rain at Scotty Wood Stadium.

The Red Devils have been ranked in the Division III top 20 for most of this season and received votes in the national poll this week. The college computer ratings of the Web site had Dickinson 22nd in Division III, with Muhlenberg not far behind at No. 30.

“This proves that this is a program that is built up and is going to keep building,” said senior Ruth Morrongiello, who made big plays on both ends of the turf in the last few minutes. “This is what hard work, determination, practice and teamwork can do.”

Playing the first of three straight games against teams that were responsible
Allisyn Vachon
Vachon, who came into the game second in the CC in save percentage, made four of her seven saves after Dickinson cut the lead to 11-10.
for four of their five losses last year, the Mules (7-1, 3-1) went toe-to-toe with the Red Devils (7-4, 3-1) from the start. Neither team led by more than one goal in the seesaw first half until Dickinson ran off three straight goals to open up an 8-6 lead with 2:30 left on the clock.

Senior Sara Hiller scored an important goal with 21.7 seconds remaining to give Muhlenberg some momentum, and a one-goal deficit, heading into the locker room.

The Mules three goals, two by sophomore Danielle Rosen sandwiched around one by junior Alyssa Bascelli in the first six minutes of the second half to take their first two-goal lead, 10-8. Dickinson scored two of the next three goals, making the score 11-10 with 16:27 to play.

That’s the way the score remained for a long time. The Muhlenberg defense dug in and kept the Red Devils from scoring the tying goal, with a little help from the post, which blocked one shot.

“We just made sure our talking was on and we communicated with each other,” said junior Ashley Foltiny, who caused a turnover with 10 minutes to play. “We all got back really quickly, and the attack played a lot of defense. It was a team effort.”

Senior Marguerite Farrell made a key stop with 5:26 left when she batted down a pass to break up a Red Devil attack in transition after Muhlenberg was assessed a yellow card.

Finally, the Mules got some breathing room with 3:22 on the clock when Morrongiello whipped in a shot for her third goal of the game.

Dickinson won the ensuing draw and took one shot that was saved by sophomore Allisyn Vachon and another that hit the post. With just over a minute to play, Morrongiello drew a charge on a Red Devil player heading to the goal. Muhlenberg took possession and ran off enough time to secure the win.

Rosen led the offense with six points on four goals and two assists. Junior Amanda McGovern contributed two goals and two assists, and Morrongiello added six draw controls to her three goals.

The Mules’ fifth straight win set program highs for best start overall (7-1) and in the CC (3-1).

“I think we knew that if we played together we could come out with a win,” said Foltiny.
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