Well, that’s not exactly how it worked out. Thies arrived just for the end of the game, too late to see classmate Lance Dotzman complete his first career hat trick in an 8-2 win against DeSales. But 48 hours later, it was Thies notching her first career hat trick in a 5-2 defeat of Johns Hopkins.
Hat tricks are somewhat rare in both sports, but less common in soccer. Dotzman’s was only the fourth for the Mule men’s soccer team since 2000. The field hockey team has had 13 hat tricks, including the one by Thies, since 2000.
The last field hockey hat trick until Friday night came in 2008 by Nicki Notarianni, whose younger sister Claire is a freshman on this year’s team.
And if a recent trend continues, Thies will have company soon. Every time a Muhlenberg field hockey player has recorded a hat trick since 2000, a teammate also recorded a hat trick later in the season.
The last time Muhlenberg saw hat tricks in both men’s soccer and field hockey in the same season was 2008 (a year that also included a hat trick by a women’s soccer player, making it a hat trick of hat tricks). And since 1980, the shortest period of time between a men’s soccer hat trick and a field hockey hat trick had been four days, in 1988.
More important than the historical significance of the two hat tricks was that they came in wins. And both teams will look for more significant contributions from their hat-tricksters in key games this week. Undefeated men’s soccer (6-0-2) hosts Swarthmore Tuesday night in a matchup of two teams that were ranked in the NSCAA top 25 last week, while field hockey (5-2) travels to Haverford Wednesday to face a team that it lost to twice last year – once in the Centennial Conference playoffs.
Football: It’s been a season of many happy returns for the Muhlenberg football team.
The Mules did not score an offensive touchdown in Saturday’s 42-26 loss to Johns Hopkins, but they had the ball with a chance to go ahead in the fourth quarter because they scored in other ways: on a 41-yard blocked punt return by Josh Messina and a 66-yard interception return by Jeremey Thomas.
It was the second time this season Muhlenberg scored in both of those ways. Matt Pagano returned a blocked punt 25 yards for a score in the Homecoming game against Franklin & Marshall, and Chris Flynn brought an interception back 31 yards for a score last week at McDaniel.
That gives the Mules four touchdowns on returns this year, the most since the 2006 team scored five non-offensive TDs. Less than halfway through the season, Muhlenberg is just two short of the school record for touchdowns on returns, set in 1947 and matched in 1999 and 2002.
The Mules have already tied the record for most blocked punts for touchdowns in a season, previously achieved in 2002 and 2012.
Flynn and Thomas are the first pair of Mules to return interceptions for touchdowns in back-to-back weeks since John McCusker and Chuck Smith scored on pick-sixes (although they probably weren’t called that then) in games against Ursinus and Dickinson, respectively, in 1977. Touchdowns on interception returns in three straight weeks hasn’t happened since 1947.
Volleyball: The Muhlenberg volleyball team was presented with a schedule that would show right away where it stood in the Centennial Conference.
So where do the Mules stand? On top.
On Saturday, Muhlenberg completed an 11-day stretch in which it played the other three 2013 CC semifinalists. The Mules defeated all three, including defending regular-season champion Franklin & Marshall and defending tournament champion Johns Hopkins.
The league figures to be as competitive as it has ever been, top to bottom, so the 3-0 start is just that – a start. It’s the first time the Mules are 3-0 in the CC since1994; the team’s best CC start (4-0) came in 1993, the first year of the league’s existence. This year’s team can match that with a home win Saturday against Dickinson.
Before that, Muhlenberg will face a Moravian team it has already defeated this year. A win Wednesday would put the Mules at 16-2 for the first time ever. The 1992 and 1993 squads both started out 15-2 but lost their 18th match.
Muhlenberg’s eight-match winning streak is tied for the third-longest in program history. The school record is 11, set in 1993.