Heading into their fifth game of the season, the Cabrini men’s soccer team enjoyed their first victory.
The gloomy weather over Edith Robb Dixon Field on Sunday, Sept. 11, certainly did not dampen the spirits of the Cavaliers. With a win-loss record of 1-1-2, beating Washington College 2-1, for head coach Rob Dallas, it was a testament to the team’s depth and perseverance.
“They’ve been doing the work, but previous games weren’t the results we were looking for. This game showed that the work was paying off,” Dallas said.
The United Soccer Coaches of America Top 25 Poll ranked Washington College 14th and did not list Cabrini at all. Players Na’im Roberts, a junior defense, and Sage Klein, a senior centre-back, said the team could feel that pressure, but their enthusiasm and preparation outweighed the burden.
The game started like any other match for Cabrini’s players: blaring music, warming up, and listening to speeches. The team huddled together chanting, “1-2-3! Family!”
Starting off the match, M.J. Graham, a junior goalie, made several saves. Every subsequent Cavalier goal received a team jog to the corner flag and a celebratory jump up and down.
“The tradition felt more special because the goals scored were at some of the most intense parts of the game,” Klein said.
The Cavaliers wrapped up the first period with a goal by Nick LoBiondo, a junior midfielder, and an assist by Tyler Tomlin, a senior forward. Then, with eight minutes left in the game, LoBiondo scored a final goal, assisted by Matt Duddy, a senior forward.
Cabrini soccer is a family
Support is a vital part of success in sports and life. Dallas, Roberts, and Klein spoke a lot about the team’s bond on and off the field where they operate as a supportive family system. Dallas explained that his initial experience with community involvement at Cabrini University impacted his coaching values.
“Coming to Cabrini felt different from other colleges. It felt like a big community where everyone on campus was ready and willing to support each other,” the Millersville University alumnus said. He adapted this ideal as the foundation for his program.
Dallas said the best moment of the game was, “When the final whistle blew. It was like the cloud that had been hanging over us was finally lifted.” That moment started positive momentum and a winning streak for the team.
“The win was not just big for that game. It was big for the season,” Roberts said.
Cabrini will have their first Atlantic East Conference game at Edith Robb Dixon Field on Wednesday, Oct. 5, against Neumann University.