Muncy grad Tyler Mensch selected to Misericordia Hall of Fame
Tyler Mensch looked at his phone and saw that it was his old college soccer coach calling. The former Muncy standout had an idea what the call was likely about, but didn’t answer it. Instead, he was just focusing on having fun and enjoying his time bowling.
When Mensch eventually returned the call, that’s when his initial hunch was confirmed: he would be entering the Misericordia Athletics Hall of Fame.
“It was an interesting time to get a call like that,” Mensch said.
Mensch will be selected as part of the Class of 2021 and he had a remarkable career at Misericordia.
“Honestly it’s such an honor. It’s a very well-established athletic department and to be one of the members going into the Hall of Fame? It means so much to be,” Mensch said. “All the hard work, swaeat, tears you put into training from time you’re a little kid to high school and college, it seems so real now.”
At Misericordia, Mensch was an All-Freedom first-team all-star, received numerous NSCAA/Adidas All-Region selections as a forward and also was a D3kicks.com all-region forward during his time there. Mensch also will join two of his former teammates in Warrior Run grad Max Campbell and Millville grad Cody Hack as Hall of Famers at Misericordia.
Both Campbell and Hack were previous inductees, but the trio were all part of the same recruiting class.
“We had a package deal going into college. Like we’re enemies going against each other in high school, but hey, lets go play together and have a great four-year experience at Misericordia,” Mensch said. “Just to play with those guys and a couple other guys from this area went there as well, and it was nice to see District 4 sort of take over Dallas, Pa.
“To have three Hall of Famers from Central Pa. in the same recruiting class, that was a special class for us as teammates but our coach as well. I don’t know if you see that too often.”
Mensch is currently Penn College’s men’s soccer coach. After graduating from Misericordia in 2009, Mensch returned to his alma mater at Muncy to coach as a varsity assistant before a stop at Wilkes and eventually to Penn College. With the Wildcats, he led Penn College to consecutive NEAC semifinal appearances in 2017-18.
“I didn’t think I’d be back in this area, figured I’d have to go out of the area to get more experience and be an assistant. Not a lot of places are going to be calling your name,” Mensch said. “With Penn College being new in terms of the NCAA, it was only their second year at time in Division III, they were willing to take a risk on a younger coach in me who goes and recruits. That’s the hardest part of coaching is recruiting.”
Mensch would know too. While he was an all-state forward at Muncy in 2004 and ended his career as a 72-goal scorer — at the time the school’s all-time leader before eventually being broken by David Sterngold — Mensch wasn’t fielding a ton of offers.
Misericordia was one of the schools that saw what Mensch was capable of on the soccer field.
“You go from Muncy, and I didn’t play club much. So all these kids today have so much of club opportunities and tournaments. I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever get recruited to go play anywhere,” Mensch said. “Misericordia came knocking and it was a great fit academically and got to play the game I love. Probably the best four years of my life.”
Looking back, numerous milestones stick out for Mensch. The most notable being the season finale in 2008 when Mensch rallied the Cougars from a three-goal deficit to a double-overtime thrilling victory against Wilkes. Mensch scored in the 87th minute to tie the game at 3-3 and came up huge in double overtime.
“Went to overtime and no one scored. Then in double overtime I was able to get the game-winner and finished off the hat trick, and the celebration knowing that we were the one seed and we’d host the entire MAC Freedom tournament (was awesome),” Mensch said. “That was definitely the most memorable match in terms of me individually.”
Mensch also had a clutch penalty kick in a shootout against Wilkes in the MAC Freedom championship that year. The same team he defeated with his double-overtime goal in the season finale.
“I took one of the easily most nerve-wracking moments of my life walking from midfield to the penalty spot and people are screaming my name. I can’t even imagine what guys in Euros and the World Cup are doing because I was freaking out,” Mensch said. “I made mine, we won it on the seventh PK and that put us into the NCAA tournament. We lost in the second round, but that was still a memorable year our senior year.”
Those are just two moments of Mensch’s outstanding four-year career with Misericordia. All these years later, Mensch is glad the Cougars took a chance on him and recruited a kid from Muncy. And it’s safe to say it worked out pretty well.