Women’s Soccer vs. Wilkes (Friday, 4:00) and vs. Marywood (Saturday, 4:00)
Three teams that qualified for their conference playoffs last year will compete on Varsity Field this weekend. Muhlenberg (7-11-2) advanced to the semifinals of the Centennial Conference playoffs, winning a shootout at McDaniel in the first round. Wilkes (9-7-4) was on the other end of penalty kicks, falling in heartbreaking fashion to crosstown rival King’s in a Freedom Conference semifinal. Marywood (6-8-4) earned its seventh consecutive conference playoff berth, losing to Centenary in the Colonial States Athletic Conference quarterfinals.
Muhlenberg has won 14 of 16 all-time meetings with Wilkes, but the Colonels’ two wins came in the last two years, both 2-1. Saturday’s game will be Muhlenberg’s first against Marywood.
Men’s Soccer vs. William Paterson (Friday, 7:00)
The first game of the 72nd season of men’s soccer at Muhlenberg pairs two teams that earned postseason invitations last year. The Mules (10-8-1) advanced to the ECAC South semifinals, while William Paterson (9-9-3) reached the ECAC Metro championship match.
Muhlenberg will hope to reverse a recent trend: Its three Opening Day losses since 2005 have all come to New Jersey Athletic Conference schools – William Paterson in 2008, Richard Stockton in 2009 and Rutgers-Camden last year.
The road team has won both meetings in the series, William Paterson 3-2 at Varsity Field in 2008 and Muhlenberg 2-1 in Jersey two years ago.
Field Hockey vs. Scranton (Friday, 7:00)
This game opens the 56th season of field hockey at Muhlenberg and matches up two solid programs that both reached their conference playoffs last year. The Mules (8-10) earned their first Centennial Conference playoff berth since 2007, and Scranton (14-6) advanced to the Landmark Conference final in its best season since 1998.
Scranton leads off a challenging early schedule: Muhlenberg’s first four opponents (all at home) – Scranton (14-6), Montclair State (21-2), Elizabethtown (14-6) and Drew (16-4) – all had outstanding records last year.
Muhlenberg holds a 7-5 lead in a series in which the home team has won every meeting but two. Last year, Scranton broke a 1-1 tie on a penalty stroke with 2:37 left to avenge a 2-1 overtime loss in Allentown in the 2012 season opener.
Volleyball at Battlefield Classic: vs. Alfred (Friday, 3:00); vs. Salve Regina (Friday, 7:00); vs. Carnegie Mellon (Saturday, 10:00); vs. Gallaudet (Saturday, 2:00)
Muhlenberg travels to Gettysburg to open its season at a highly competitive tournament. Alfred struggled last year, going only 3-27, but Salve Regina was 26-5 and earned an ECAC Tournament bid, and Carnegie Mellon (25-10) and Gallaudet (23-14) both played in the NCAA Tournament.
The Mules are coming off an outstanding season of their own. They finished with a record of 20-12 and reached the Centennial Conference championship match.
Cross Country at Lehigh Invitational (Friday, 5:30)
The Muhlenberg teams open their season at a meet that includes Division I teams Lehigh, Delaware, LIU-Brooklyn and West Virginia. The Mules will also get to test their abilities vs. local Division III rivals DeSales and Moravian as well as Centennial Conference foe Ursinus. At last year’s Lehigh Invitational, Muhlenberg’s men and women placed fourth and sixth, respectively, both finishing ahead of Division I squads.