By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/9/09
Cabrini College’s men continued their domination of the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC), and took it a step further in 2008.
The Cavaliers (17-3 overall) of coach Steve Colfer rolled to their eighth straight PAC championship and later became the first Cabrini team in any sport to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
Cabrini had to beat a local rival – Haverford College – to make it to the quarterfinals of the Division III championships. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers then had to face top-seeded and undefeated Salisbury – which eliminated Cabrini, 15-7, and went on to win its second straight crown.
But the 13-10 victory over Haverford, before a large crowd in Radnor, was the highlight in a standout season.
Scott Reimer (Downingtown West) led the Cavaliers with five goals, while Casey Grugan (Ridley) and Matt McKinney (Ridley) each added two goals and an assist. The goaltending due of Bobby Chambers (Henderson) and Kevin Chenowethprovided 12 saves.
“We were just able to maximize our emotion,” Reimer said. “They were a great team, and we were able to match their intensity.”
Haverford College took a 7-6 lead early in the second half, but Cabrini scored six straight goals to take control.
“Momentum,” Grugan said when asked about the run. “We just started going off each other.”
Haverford battled back in the last quarter, closing within 12-10.
That was as close as the Black Squirrels would get, as the Cavs’ defense clamped down before Reimer tallied his fifth goal off of a look from McKinney with 1:29 seconds left to put Haverford away.
Cabrini qualified for the NCAAs with a dominating 25-3 rout of PAC rival Eastern in the league title game.
After the season, the Cavaliers pulled in a host of awards. Grugan (45 goals, 25 assists) was a third-team All-American selection while junior attacker Reimer (68 goals), senior middieMcKinney (36 goals) and junior defender Jeff Moore (Springfield-Delco, 58 groundballs), were honorable mention picks
Also, freshman longstick midfielder Coleman Till (Downingtown East) was the Division III Metro/South Rookie of the Year and McKinney was named to the 67th United States Interscholastic Lacrosse Association North-South Senior All-Star Game.
Also, Grugan was the PAC Player of the Year and Till (37 groundballs) was the PAC Rookie of the Year. Reimer, Moore, Till, McKinney, face-off specialist Mike Dolente (Spring-Ford) and LSM Steve Heaps were first-team all-PAC choices and freshman middie Paul Skulski (Garnet Valley) was a second-team pick.
The Cavaliers finished the season ranked No. 6 nationally, the program’s highest listing all-time.
On April 9, Colfer added yet another coaching accomplishments. Cabrini’s resounding 17-4 win against conference foe Centenary College marked his 100th career win with the Blue and Gray. Colfer (.788) ranks second behind Salisbury’s Jim Berkman in career winning percentage among head coaches in the Division III ranks with at least five years of service.
The prognosis for 2009? It looks good; with many key players back, the Cavs are ranked third in the pre-season poll by Lacrosse Magazine and Laxnews.com and sixth by Inside Lacrosse. Their first home game? It’s Feb. 28 against Haverford College, so mark the date.
Ben Skalina contributed to this article