This game had strong playoff implications for the Cavs, who won three out of their last four games and entered the contest in third place in the CSAC. Rosemont entered the game tied with Keystone College for fourth place and is currently one of several “bubble” teams that may make the playoffs depending on how the next few games go.
Winning would have been beneficial for both teams’ chances in the playoffs, something that gave the game an intense playoff-like atmosphere.
“Today’s win is huge because it still leaves Rosemont behind us in the standings,” Glen Jaskelewicz, head coach, said. “If we lost, Rosemont would have leapfrogged over us for third place but because we won, we keep sole possession of third.”
The first six teams in the CSAC make the playoffs. The first and second seed both get a bye in the first round of the playoffs and the third place team gets home field advantage. After Saturday’s game, the Cavaliers remain in third place and with two games remaining against Philadelphia Biblical University (tied for fifth place) and Keystone College (tied for fourth place), the Cavs have the opportunity to take first place and secure a bye in the first round.
The game against the Ravens got off to a rough start for the Cavaliers. At the 19-minute mark of the first half, junior defender Ryan McElroy scored to put Rosemont up by a score of 1-0.
The Cavaliers had several chances to tie the game but were unable to do so and walked into halftime still down 1-0. However, they found their equalizer late in the game.
At the 75-minute mark of the second half, sophomore back Brett Lockbaum established that the Cavs were not going to go down without a fight and scored to tie the game at one. Time expired 15 minutes later, sending the game into overtime.
“Kyle Johnson made a beautiful pass to Christian Martin and Martin put up a great ball,” Lockbaum said. “It would’ve been just horrible if I didn’t finish that one off. I was at the right place at the right time.”
The Cavaliers entered overtime with the intent to bury the Ravens and at the six-minute mark of overtime, did just that.
Freshman midfielder George Lambritsios scored the game-winning goal to give the Cavaliers the victory.
“Jim Mattock passed it to Eric Collins and it luckily bounced out to the middle,” Lambritsios said. “I have to give credit to Mattock and Collins, they made that play happen. This game was very important and was a big win. It’s a step higher for us to make the playoffs.”
The Cavaliers sophomore goalkeeper Eric Nowicki was solid as well, making four saves on five shots on goal. The saves he made were spectacular and a crucial reason why the game was as close as it was.
Not only was this a big game in terms of the standings, this was also a big game because it was the last regular season home game for the senior players.
Prior to the start of the game, Collins, Mattock, Johnson, Jake Neary, Jake Thomas and Anthony Girolamo, all seniors, were honored in an emotional ceremony on the field for their accomplishments and dedication to the men’s soccer program over the past four seasons.
“This was [the seniors’] day, so it was nice to give something back to them,” Lambritsios said.