The women’s lacrosse team had a rough start to their season by opening with a loss, but the team has been dominant ever since. Between Mar. 1 and April 1, the Mules have won seven games in a row and have outscored their opponents 111 to 37.
After losing to Mid Atlantic Conference powerhouse Messiah College, Muhlenberg gained two easy wins. They beat a mediocre Arcadia team 20 to 5 and completely obliterated Emmanuel 16 to 0 over spring break.
The Mules had two unexpected weeks off in the middle of March due to the snow storm, but that did not stop their momentum. The team came out of their hiatus looking to score against Buffalo State. Buffalo seemed to gain the upper hand early in the game, but the Mules came back with four goals in a row. Muhlenberg couldn’t be stopped and ended the game on top, 16 to 10.
Their first Centennial Conference opponent, Bryn Mawr, was also the home opener. The Mules utterly controlled the game both offensively and defensively, claiming their first conference win in a 19 to 0 shutout.
Muhlenberg’s winning streak continued through beating both Lebanon Valley College (12 to 9) and Drew University (20 to 6). Their closest win so far this season was against conference opponent Gettysburg College.
The entire time the teams remained within one point of each other, as neither could take full control of the game. Both defenses played phenomenal games, resulting in a lower-scoring game. Fortunately, for the Mules, Jordy Bonvini ’18 scored the fourth goal to put Muhlenberg up 4 to 3 over Gettysburg by the end of the first half. Bonvini scored the unassisted goal after about a 16 minute scoring drought. Her goal turned out to be the difference in the game that gave the Mules their victory.
Both teams were still neck and neck throughout the second half, scoring four goals each. The teams exchanged turns scoring goals until Muhlenberg added three straight points to the scoreboard. Bonvini scored her fourth goal of the game, again unassisted, with less than fifteen minutes remaining. Two minutes later, teammate Emma Carmody ’19 gave the Mules their first lead in the second half on a free position shot after a penalty. Stephanie D’Ascoli ’17 scored the last goal for Muhlenberg with about eight minutes left in the game. The Mules’ defense was able to hold Gettysburg to just one goal with the remaining time, sealing the 8 to 7 victory.
The Mules’ victory was the first time any Muhlenberg sports team had defeated a #1 nationally ranked team since 1995, when the men’s basketball team defeated Franklin and Marshall. After the game, the Mules were also honored with the program’s first national ranking, as they landed the #20 spot in the DIII Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll.