PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore midfielder Alvin Dahn had a breakout match to lead the Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad to a 4-2 win over Quinnipiac (0-2-1) in the 2018 home opener on Saturday evening on Sweeney Field. Factoring into all three scoring plays of the second half with a brace and an assist, Dahn led the Hawks (2-1-0) to their second consecutive win.
"Alvin was the player of the game," said head coach Don D'Ambra following the win. "We talked about some of the things that we wanted to try to execute, and he came into the second half and had a whole different level of urgency. Last year, he put so much hard work in, and in preseason, he came in so focused... I think he's going to have a great season. He completely changed the game and I'm happy for him."
Trailing 1-0 after Quinnipiac's Eamon Whelan hit the back of the net (33'), the Hawks equalized just six minutes later as redshirt junior midfielder Lou Vilotti found senior midfielder Derek MacKinnon off a corner kick; MacKinnon headed in his first goal of the season and sixth of his career to even up the scoring (39').
"We felt like we needed a change, a spark, and these guys bounced right back with a great set-piece," said D'Ambra of the Washington Township duo, who had subbed in together in the 28th minute. "They got us back, and that was a huge goal for us. Those two looking for each other... there must have been some chemistry there from the high school days."
Coming out of the halftime break, the story became Dahn's.
The sophomore midfielder first curled in a shot from 15 yards out, assisted by sophomore midfielder Ritchie Barry, to put the Hawks up by one in the 51st minute; the score marked the first point and goal of his collegiate career.
Dahn then assisted on sophomore midfielder Alan Kahlenbeck's first collegiate goal, crossing a pass in from the right side for Kahlenbeck's eventual match-winning header.
Whelan took advantage of a loose ball in the box and scored his second goal of the night to bring the Bobcats to within one, 3-2, in the 77th minute.
However, Dahn blasted a low shot across the face of the goal in the final 10 minutes of play (82') to push the Hawks' lead back out to two, 4-2.
"I'm feeling great," said Dahn after his offensively-explosive performance. "I'm really happy that I was able to score today. Last year, we weren't scoring. Now we have seven goals in two games, which is huge. Moving forward, we have to keep building on this. I think we have a great season ahead."
Freshman goalkeeper Joseph Boehm (2-1-0) made a season-high five saves vs. two goals allowed in the full 90:00 to earn his second collegiate win. Three of his saves came within a six-minute span in the first half.
The backline of senior Eddie McCusker, redshirt junior Mike Fornaro, and sophomores David Grana and Daniel Morales were strong in full-match efforts, while Watkins and freshman midfielder Garrett Lyons turned in complete matches, as well.
Saint Joseph's returns to action at Stony Brook (1-2-0) this Wednesday, September 5. Kickoff at LaValle Stadium in Stony Brook, N.Y. is slated for 7:00 p.m.
MATCH NOTES: Four goals marks the most scored by the Hawks on Sweeney Field since a 4-1 win over St. Bonaventure on November 7, 2015... Saint Joseph's improves to 1-1 all-time against Quinnipiac.