Collins scores twice, leads Cavs to win over Eastern

By Kevin Durso
September 19, 2011

Eric Collins, No. 5, scored twice to lead the Cavaliers to a 2-1 victory over Eastern. -- Kevin Durso / Staff Writer

The Cabrini men’s soccer team rallied from a first-half deficit to claim a 2-1 win over Eastern University on Saturday, Sept. 17, in front of a capacity crowd at Edith Robb Dixon Field. In a close, well-played match, both teams’ willpower and the crowd’s energy made this college athletics at its finest.

Senior forward Eric Collins netted two goals in the second half, extending his team-leading goal total to five.  Forward Matt Sabin assisted on Collins’ first goal, and midfielder Ryan Juhring assisted on his second. The crowd, vocal and energetic the entire game, exploded on both goals.

“All I can say is to the fans, thank you very much,” seventh-year head coach Glen Jaskelewicz said. “We appreciate it. There were probably a thousand fans in the stands tonight and it was awesome.”

The first half was hard-fought; full of back-and-forth action. However, Eastern was the only side to capitalize on a chance, as Eastern freshman forward Pablo Villeda opened the scoring in minute 30. That would be the lone shot on goal in the first half, despite a few close chances for Cabrini in the closing moments of the first half.

Cabrini returned from the break revitalized, and nearly tied the game in early stages of the second half. Collins got his first scoring chance there, but hit the post with his shot. Collins came back during minute 53 with his first goal of the game on an excellent set-up from Sabin.

“After I hit the post, that would have been the biggest lift ever. A goal like that would have been huge,” Collins said. “But Matt [Sabin] took the ball down the end line and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Collins added his second goal later in minute 77. From there, tight defense was the key, as the Cavaliers were forced to stand tall late in the game.

Eastern was awarded a corner kick with time winding down in the game. A leaping grab by sophomore goalkeeper Eric Nowicki  sealed the Cavaliers’ 2-1 win.

“We got our guys back, got our guys settled, got it cleared up,” Nowicki said. “We finally got a cross back in and I was able to grab it and seal the win.”

The 2-1 win is one of the highlights of Cabrini’s season, and was the perfect way to prepare for the start of CSAC matches starting Wednesday with the team’s match at home against Marywood.

“It’s huge,” freshman defenseman Christian Martin  said. “I thought we played excellent, and if we can keep playing the way we do, I feel like this win brought everyone closer together. I feel like we have a lot of good things coming for us.”

Cabrini’s second half dominance was the key to their win, as they controlled the play with an aggressive style. Their determination was evident, and is the type of play that the team hopes to carry into conference play. But after downing their biggest rival in a come-from-behind win, with a packed house cheering them on, victory was sweet for the Cavaliers.

“There was not one doubt in anybody’s mind that we were losing that game,” Martin said. “That’s how we came out in the second half and that’s how we proved it.”

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