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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Men’s soccer cruises past Quinnipiac 4-2

Sophomore Alvin Dahn celebrates his first career goal (Photo by Sam Britt ’20).

Young midfielders lead team to victory

It only took sophomore Alvin Dahn a couple touches to realize it was his night. With the fans cheering his every move, the explosive midfielder knew he had to make something happen.

The St. Joe’s men’s soccer team beat Quinnipiac University 4-2 Saturday night. Their high-octane offense proved to be too much for the Bobcats to handle as the Hawks secured their second win of the season.

The game began with a feeling-out process until Quinnipiac finally broke through for the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute. Junior Eamon Whelan got past Hawk’s keeper freshman Joseph Boehm and put the ball into the empty net to give the Bobcats the lead.

On the bench though, head coach Don D’Ambra was confident his team would be able to come back.

“Mistakes happen,” D’Ambra said. “You just have to get on with it. People make mistakes and sometimes it can cost you. But we weren’t worried about it. We just knew the team needed to bounce back and make a play.”

That is exactly what the Hawks did. Senior midfielder Derek Mackinnon, evened the scoring six minutes later, heading one past the Quinnipiac goalie off of a corner kick.

Then the Alvin Dahn show commenced. The Hawks came out of halftime with a renewed energy and were rewarded when Dahn sprinted down his wing, cut back to the middle and fired a shot top left. Dahn’s first career collegiate goal put the Hawks on top in the 50th minute.

“I was so happy I was able to contribute today,” Dahn said. “Getting my first goal was like, wow. It was one of the moments. I can’t even explain it, it was mind blowing.”

Eleven minutes later, Dahn once again sped past the Quinnipiac defense. He centered a ball into the box where sophomore, Alan Kahlenbeck, was waiting.

“I saw the ball go out wide and I came in trying to make an impact and give my team a spark,” Kahlenbeck said. “Luckily the ball came to me and I was able to head it into the goal. It was a great play and great ball by [Dahn].”

Kahlenbeck’s first career goal extended the Hawk’s lead to 3-1. Quinnipiac wasn’t about to go down without a fight. Their star, Whelan, beat the St. Joe’s defense to a loose ball and scored his second goal of the game, cutting the lead to one.

“You never want to get complacent against teams like Quinnipiac,” Kahlenbeck said. “We all just regrouped and come together. We all knew that we needed to win this game.”

The Hawks knew who they could count on to put this game away.

“When I was on the bench coached called me and said ‘Alvin, we need to get one’,” Dahn said. “And I was able to go out and get one. That was huge for our momentum.”

Almost like a replay of his first goal, Dahn used his speed to put pressure on the Quinnipiac defense before cutting into the box and beating the goalie with a well-placed shot. Dahn’s second goal of the game finished off the Bobcats.

St. Joe’s offensive explosion was powered by their young midfielders. D’Ambra credits the work they put in last year for their success early in this season.

“Last year we had seven freshman starters,” D’Ambra said. “It was a valuable experience for them to develop. So this year they aren’t intimidated by the moment, and they play like upperclassmen because of the time they got as freshmen.”

St. Joe’s improved to 2-1-0 with the win. The Hawks return home Saturday, Sept. 8, to take on Sacred Heart University at 7 p.m.

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