Cavaliers field hockey defeats Gwynedd Mercy 2-1, wins CSAC Title

By John Williams
November 7, 2016

Cabrini Field Hockey CSAC
Photo by Cabrini Athletics

The Cabrini Cavaliers field hockey team stepped on the turf Saturday afternoon in Gwynedd Valley and defended their title as “Colonial States Athletic Conference” champions with a 2-1 victory over the hosting Gwynedd-Mercy Griffins. Midfielder Jackie Neary was named the 2016 CSAC Finals Most Valuable Player in the Cavaliers’ win.

Even though the Cavaliers defeated these same Griffins 2-1 exactly 364 days ago to win the 2015 CSAC title, the way they sealed the deal this time was a whole lot different.

It was a struggle for the Cavaliers to maintain possession all throughout this one.

Cabrini was outshot 12-4 in the first half and were awarded only seven corners to the Griffins’ 11 in the first frame. Even though there was no score at the end of the first half, the Cavaliers were not at their best. Defensively, they did a good job keeping it close, employing a bend-but-do not-break presence in front of goaltender Taylor Bookman, who was phenomenal in her own right.

The Cavaliers were sloppy with the ball and were unable to find sustained offensive pressure or momentum early on.

And then the second half happened.

In what was one of the craziest halfs in the Cavaliers’ season, Cabrini looked like a whole new team. They were tenacious on defense, being quicker to every ball than the Griffins players.

Just 2:47 into the 2nd stanza of play, Cavaliers’ junior Alex Swallow swallowed up a nice juicy rebound in front of the Griffins’ net to put Cabrini up 1-0 with 32 minutes and change remaining in the half. The goal was Swallow’s 4th of the campaign.

It took less than three minutes for Gwynedd Mercy to come back and score one of their own, as freshman Erika Cimino scored her 3rd of the year, tying the game at one.

CSAC Championship game’s Most Valuable Player Jackie Neary, with Cabrini Athletic Director, Brad Koch. Photo By Cabrini Athletics

The Cavaliers answered Cimino’s goal even quicker.

Thirty-six seconds later, junior Jackie Neary sniped a shot from the top of the crease past Griffin’s goaltender Samantha Soscia, notching her 10th goal and 29th point of the season to give the Cavaliers the lead, a lead in which they would not relinquish.

It was not easy, though.

The Griffins were awarded 10 corners to the Cavs’ three in the second half, much to the dismay of the Cavaliers’ fan base, which was heavily represented in Gwynedd Valley.

Unlike in the first half, Cabrini brought a heightened intensity to the turf, making smart, sound decisions with the ball, although they were as heavily penalized as they were. Even with the 10 penalty corners, much of them back-to-back that they suffered, Cabrini was able to deter the attack by getting to their girl before they could pass it off.

When the clock stroke 0:00, the Cavalier faithful celebrated, as Cabrini despite the pressure they faced by the higher-seeded Gwynedd Mercy team, took home the title.

John Williams

John is a Sophomore Digitial Communications and Social Media Major at Cabrini College. He is an aspiring sports writer, who also is an editor for You can catch John's radio show "The Whole 10 Yards" on Fridays from 12-2 on Cavalier Radio, 89.1 WYBF-FM, or online at

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