Graham a defensive anchor to championship team

By Jill Fries
November 13, 2008

dministration major and member of the Colonial States Athletic Conference 2008 men’s soccer championship team, hopes to end his senior season as a National College Athletic Association tournament champion.

Graham, from Turnersville, N.J., has played soccer since the age of four and looked up to his brother throughout his life.

“He is an incredible role model and always has the perfect answers. He’s also the funniest man I know,” Graham said of his brother.

Graham has been at Cabrini for five years, one year red-shirting due to an injury during pre-season last year.

“His success this season is a testament to his hard work in the off season,” Robert Dallas, men’s soccer assistant coach, said. “Not only has he bounced back from his injury but he is probably in the best shape of his life as a result of his determination.”

Dallas was in touch with Graham over the summer and admired his will to constantly push himself.

“It was hard for him to sit by and watch last season knowing he should have been a part of one of the best defenses in the country,” Dallas said. “Yet here he is now, leading this young defense to one of the program’s best seasons ever.”

It was just this year, against Widener University, when Graham scored his first college goal.

“One of my favorite memories was my freshman year when we walked over to Eastern five minutes before game time and beat them,” Graham said.

Not only has the men’s soccer team accomplished their goal of being the top in their conference, they are now CSAC champions and will enter into the NCAA tournament.

“John Graham has been a tremendous player on defense for us this year and is one of the main reason we were undefeated during the regular season,” Glen Jaskelewicz, men’s soccer head coach, said.

“From the time that I met John when he was a sophomore to now, he has grown so much, not only as a player but as a young man as well,” Dallas said.

Passion and determination are what earned Graham his first and senior year accolades as a Cabrini soccer player.

“He has just been voted first team all-conference this year and also received our CSAC Sportsmanship Award as well. He has been a tremendous captain for us throughout the year,” Jaskelewicz said.

“There is a certain tenacity in Graham that you don’t get in just anybody. He has been a lot of fun to coach and even more fun to watch. We will miss him next year,” Dallas said.

Jill Fries

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