The Muhlenberg Men’s Lacrosse team is scheduled to open their season with a game against Immaculata in Scotty Wood Stadium on Feb.17 at 3:00 p.m.
The Mules are coming off a 2-12 season but are looking to improve. With 17 games scheduled, Muhlenberg is looking to dominate their nine non-conference games and play competitively against the Centennial Conference, which has proven to be a dominant league across Division III lacrosse.
Last season, the Centennial consisted of three top 20 NCAA teams. Dickinson, Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall were all ranked by the USILA Coaches Association. While Muhlenberg’s 2018 senior class has never captured a Centennial Conference win, they are hungry to defeat one of their rivals before they graduate.
After speaking to the team’s President of Player Operations, Will Edwards ‘18 explained their key strategies in order to play competitively this season. “With so many numbers on our team, it’s important for us to put the best group of guys together out on the field, whether they’re a senior or a freshman, we want to put out the best players.”
With 52 players on the roster, the Mules have strong potential from any particular grade. With Frankie Feaster ‘20, Nolan Robbins ‘19, Kevin Bergenty ‘18 and Joey Hess ‘18, the Mules have four key contributors returning who look to help guide the underclassmen in the right direction. Edwards explained, “We want to have a good mix between upper and underclassmen in order to be a strong unit on the field.” No matter what the age is, Coach Jake Plunkett looks to put the best contributors out on the field in order to stay competitive within the game.
The freshman class is arguably one of the most talented recruiting classes Plunkett has brought in so far in his three year career at Muhlenberg. Consisting of 23 players, the Mules are looking to sculpt these freshmen into being dominant collegiate athletes. “They are at the skill level to be able to compete for a starting position and play a larger role on the field just as freshmen,” Edwards explained about the class of 2021.
The large freshman class is not the only impactful addition the lacrosse team will add to the Scotty Wood sidelines in 2018. The hiring of Alex Stone as the new defensive and recruiting coordinator was an important offseason acquisition for the program. Stone comes to Allentown after a four year stint at Bard College, where he was an assistant coach for one season before being promoted to head coach for the following three.
A highlight of Stone’s coaching career occured in his first as season Bard’s head coach. In a victory later credited as the biggest upset in 2015 Division III play by laxpower.com, Bard defeated Skidmore by a score of 9-8. With a very successful player and coaching career, Stone will offer the Mules a lot of incitement especially on the defensive end.
With a solid group of returners and a large freshman class, the Mules plan on bringing their competitive edge to the field in order to compete with conference contenders.