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Men's Soccer Takes Season Opener 3-1 vs. Cabrini

Ryan Sholes
Ryan Sholes

RADNOR, Pa. – The Haverford College men's soccer team made a strong opening statement with a 3-1 win over Cabrini in the season opener under the lights Friday night. The Fords held a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute as Cabrini had just two shots before each side tallied during the final 15 minutes of play.

The Cavaliers, who ended up hosting the game on their turf field due to rain throughout the day and the match, came into the contest receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches Association national poll, after winning their conference last season and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. With the victory Friday, Haverford improved to 63-50-5 all-time in season openers and is currently riding an eight-match winning streak in such matches. The only longer streak in program history came back in the 1920s when the Fords won 10 straight seasons openers from 1920-29.

Haverford got the scoring started early as Noah Schwab scored less just over nine minutes into the start of his collegiate career as Ryan Sholes found his teammate on the game's first corner. Schwab headed home the game's first chance. The Fords carried that 1-0 lead into the break despite outshooting Cabrini 6-0 during the first half. Sholes' assist was the third of the sophomore's career.

With a stout defense in front of him, Michael Iacono got the starting assignment in goal and was called on to make just one save, but did so nicely as he punched a direct kick from just outside of the 18 over the crossbar during the 71st minute of play. Haverford got back on the attack just four minutes later when some crisp passing from Michael Carr and Kevin Kaufman found the foot of Nick Jannelli who curled his shot around the keeper for a 2-0 lead with just over 15 minutes to play. After leading the team with 13 goals last season, Jannelli now has 22 tallies for his career, with tonight's being his eighth game-winner at Haverford. Carr was credited with the 10th assist of his career, while Kaufman tallied his first collegiate point with the helper.

Haverford was holding a 12-2 advantage in shots after Jannelli's tally, but things got a little more interesting as the Cavaliers got a goal of their own off of a corner kick opportunity in the 79th minute. After a quick answer from the hosts, Haverford provided one of its own as Kaufman scored his first career goal just under four minutes after Cabrini brought the game within a single goal. Kaufman finished right in front of goal off a long cross from Nick John gave the senior defender the second assist of his career.

Cabrini would not get another shot off in the contest as Haverford outshot the Cavaliers by a 17-3 margin, including a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal. Jannelli led the Fords with five shots on the night, while Max Krieg and Carr each had three shots at goal. Iacono picked up the win in goal and stayed unbeaten during his college career as the goalie of record. He now holds a mark of 3-0-1 during his four career starts.

Men's soccer will now look to makes it home debut next Saturday, September 8 when Wesleyan (Conn.) comes to Walton Field as part of the Jimmy Mills Tournament. The game will get underway at 12 p.m. noon. The following day, Haverford will take on William Paterson in a 12:30 p.m. start.