In the last 22 minutes of the game, the Cabrini women’s soccer team scored twice and clinched the 2-1 win against CSAC opponent Marywood University on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Edith Robb Dixon Field.
Despite an early score by the Pacers in the second minute of the game, the Cavaliers managed to get onto the board twice with 22 minutes to spare to win it for Cabrini. Senior midfielder Dana Nardello scored the first goal for the Cavs at the minute 69, 13 second mark.
Eighty-one minutes into the game, junior Kara Hinkelmon made a goal for Cabrini with an assist from Nardello. After the second goal for Cabrini, the Cavs never relinquished their lead.
“We were excited [coming into this game],” Sammy Thompson, junior exercise science and health promotion major, said.
“I felt very confident,” Jessica Huda, Cabrini’s assistant women’s soccer coach and fitness coordinator, said via an e-mail interview. “I thought we matched up well with [Marywood] and really the pressure was all on them. They were coming to our field and we are playing very well right now.”
Preparing for a game can be a big part of a team’s morale.
“This game was a tough game to mentally prepare for,” Gianna Porretta, senior goalkeeper, said in a message on Facebook. “We’re a very superstitious team. We have the same routine that we do before every game. We have pasta parties or we hang out together the night before our games. Some of us shower before games to relax, some people have lucky socks they wear and we always all do the same thing before a game when we get together down to the littlest thing.”
Marywood trailed behind Cabrini in terms of attempted shots with Cabrini leading 13-9. Hinkelmon had four shot attempts, the most of any player during the game. Cabrini now has a season record of 7-2 with this win.
Porretta commented on how her position of goal keeper is simultaneously stressful yet rewarding.
“I think being a goal keeper is a very difficult position on any team,” Porretta said. “It is very physically and mentally demanding to be a goal keeper. It’s a very rewarding position to play but at the same time, you know if you make a mistake it could result in your team losing.”
“The team’s happy to win,” Thompson said. “[Our win today] shows the conference that we have a lot to bring.”
The Sept. 25 game was a repeat of the CSAC Championship match. The Lady Cavs accomplished a 1-0 overtime victory against Marywood in that game last season, winning the CSAC championship game.
“We had to play [Marywood] in the championship last year and beat them,” Thompson said. “It is always a good match when we come out and play them. We were excited and a little nervous. The freshmen were definitively nervous but we overcame it and came out to win.”
“Each game against Marywood is a tough game,” Huda said. “They are never easy and it always turns out to be a great game. Ten plus years ago, that answer might be different but the for now its never.”
Marywood’s strong defense held Cabrini back from scoring during the first 68 minutes of the game. The Pacers offense was only able to score once early in the first half. Both teams have an impressive defense due to the low numbers on the game board.
“Marywood was in first place so it was a very big win for us,” Porretta said. “Our defense is amazing. We all play very well together. We all trust each other and always cover for each other. They had a pretty strong defense, but I think we just played with a lot of heart and the team that wanted it more won.”
“Marywood has some very good players in the back,” Huda said. “Actually their best players are probably part of their defense. So yes, I would say their defense was strong. I wasn’t at all worried about how late we scored because our girls don’t ever give up no matter what the score is and how much time is left. We battled and found a way to get it through.”
“They had two very good center backs, so we had to just keep pounding them in there and getting our shots in,” Thompson said.
Before the game start, there was a sense of tension in the air but the palpable feeling of enthusiasm on both benches overcame that tension for the most part.
Both benches were filled throughout the game and many players substituted as the game went on.
“Despite the injuries a lot of us were fighting through. I think we all played a great game yesterday,” Porretta said.
“We’re a good team. Good teams find a way to win,” Thompson said.