Men's Soccer Dances to ECAC Playoff Win

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
 

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Lance Dotzman didn’t plan on performing his own rendition of a YouTube sensation, but scoring a goal in the postseason called for something special.

Lance Dotzman dance “I had to think of something to do,” Dotzman (right) said of the ‘Cousin Terio’ dance that can be found everywhere from social media sites to NFL end zones. This time, it made its latest appearance after the junior midfielder put the finishing touches on the Mules’ 2-0 victory at Marywood in the quarterfinals of the ECAC South Championship.

Dotzman and his teammates are finding that winning in the playoffs is just a little more fun. Playing loose and looking dangerous from start to finish on a frigid night, the seventh-seeded Mules (10-7-1) advanced to Saturday’s semifinals to meet top-seeded Swarthmore (11-5-4), a 2-0 winner over Penn State Abington on Wednesday. The other semifinal will pit fifth-seeded Lebanon Valley against second-seeded Frostburg State, with both games taking place at Swarthmore.

Receiving contributions up and down the lineup, Muhlenberg fired off a season-high 25 shots, generally dominating play against a third-seeded Pacers squad that stormed through the Colonial States Athletic Conference regular season undefeated and fell a game short of the NCAA Tournament. After spending the time leading up to the tournament by turning the page on narrowly missing the Centennial Conference playoffs, the Mules showed they still have plenty to play for in moving one game closer to capping the season with a trophy.

“We looked good all week in practice,” said senior back Jonathan Schauer, who helped the Mules post their eighth shutout of the season. “We were happy to take it into the game. This is like an extra season, and we want to go out there and win it.”

Lance Dotzman goal Though Dotzman’s dance was the talk of the team afterwards, it was the play of the seniors that sent the Mules back home happy. Nine seniors in all saw the field, and each did his part in helping to keep their collective careers alive.

Brendan McIntyre broke a scoreless tie with a nifty goal in the 41st minute, blasting a one-timer into the chest of the Marywood keeper and chipping the ensuing rebound deftly over his head and into the back of the net. Jacob Joseph (below) put a scare into the Pacers with a bevy of dangerous crosses and powerful shots. Jeremy Katz grazed the crossbar with a spectacular strike, and co-captains Schauer and Ryan Barlotta teamed with Bucky Aronoff on the back line to stymie a Marywood squad that averaged 2.5 goals per game in the regular season. And then there was Jeff Reinhart, who set up Dotzman’s dagger goal (above) four minutes into the second half with a perfect cross into the box.

Jacob Joseph “We’re not ready to end our careers yet,” said Schauer. “Going to the ECAC is like a new season, and we were super excited about that.”

That isn’t to say the underclassmen didn’t lend a big hand. Sophomore goalie Ellison Heil made five saves to record his fifth shutout in his first start since October 5, reacting instantly to palm a vicious Marywood volley over the bar early in the first half. Juniors Bryan Attanasio and Travis Wantcheckon provided their typical hard-nosed play, and freshman forward Phil Rahling made his second career start and played well up top.

Then, of course, there was Dotzman. The Mules’ leading scorer with seven goals and five assists in the regular season, Dotzman made sure his first postseason tally counted, putting Reinhart’s cross into the upper right corner of the net in the 49th minute and subsequently stealing the show with a spontaneous celebration that had the Muhlenberg bench in stitches.

“He’s always got something up his sleeve,” Schauer said. “It was pretty funny.”

Muhlenberg, however, hasn’t had much to celebrate of late against its next opponent. The Garnet, who finished tied for first in the CC in the regular season, haven’t lost to the Mules since 2007, including a 2-1 victory on October 2. What better way, then, for Schauer and the seniors to continue their farewell tour than with another celebration?

“We’re excited about it,” Schauer said of Saturday’s matchup. “The seniors haven’t beaten them once in our careers, so that would be a heck of a way to go out.”
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