What defines a great rivalry?
A long history and a five-minute walk between two schools?
A rivalry so deep that, even with states separating the teams, fans from both loathe each other’s presence?
Well, it’s not the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox, but the Eastern Eagles against the Cabrini Cavaliers. When these two teams meet, no matter what field it is on, it is said to be more than just a game.
Eastern plays Cabrini in a few sports, but the most heated matchups is on the basketball court. Last year’s thrilling double-overtime loss was just a roadblock in the way for the Eagles to win the bragging rights of Eagle Road for the year.
Head Basketball Coach Matt Nadelhoffer said this long-term rivalry with Cabrini has existed for 25 years.
The Eagles were 2-19 before Coach Nadelhoffer took his spot at the helm. Since then, the team has been 5-7 against the Cavaliers.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to be competitive with Cabrini because of their tradition and history at the Division III level and Philadelphia area,” Nadelhoffer said. “It’s fun for our players and student community, but to me it’s just another game.”
Coach Nadelhoffer also said that Radnor Township donated a street sign for “The Battle of Eagle Road.” That sign is at Cabrini and he would like to bring it back to Eastern.
Senior Captain Chris Myers has been a part of the tradition for years now.
“Last year’s loss was a tough one to swallow, but I believe it truly exemplifies how great the rivalry has been through the years,” Myers said.
“The rivalry is so unique because, as a team, we could literally walk and be at their gym in five minutes, so it truly shows who rules the streets in Wayne, Pa.,” he said.
Judging Myers’ high spirits, you can be certain that this year’s game will be no less intense than those of years past.
This year Eastern gets to host the big match on Jan. 27 in the main gym. The game begins at 7 p.m.
So, to witness two schools with a lot of history go at it once again, make sure to come to Eastern’s gym early, wear white, and bring your voices.
Eastern will be on a mission to start the decade as the “King of Eagle Road.”
For sophomore Maria Horning and senior Lindsay Moyer, the accolades keep coming.
The Philadelphia Inquirer listed both athletes as part of their Academic All-Area teams for the fall. Honorees are selected by the sports information offices from 28 area colleges, including Division I schools like Drexel and Temple.
Horning earned the title of Volleyball Performer of the Year. In addition to this recognition, Horning lead the Eagles to a MAC Freedom championship, was named the Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-American third team while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
To top off her final season as an Eagle, Moyer earned a spot on the Inquirer’s Academic All-Area field hockey team after wining her third career conference championship.
While most people on the East Coast were trying to stay warm the week after Christmas, the men’s basketball team had the opportunity to not only travel down south to warmer weather, but to also play against competitive teams.
The team visited Orlando, Fla. from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1.
The Eagles competed in two contests at the Land of Magic Classic in Florida. Even though Eastern came out with two losses, it was a learning experience.
“Before our trip, our team was very close and we all got along, but I think after an experience in Florida where we traveled together it brought us even closer,” junior guard Derek Wright said. “It is similar to taking a trip with your family.”
The Eagles are now ready for the cold winter months that will hopefully lead to a MAC championship.
“The focus for the rest of the season is to gain each game,” senior guard Chris Myers said. “We feel we are coming together. We had a good time and are ready to make a run for a MAC championship.”
Down in Florida, the team attended an NBA game, which included going on the floor for a shoot-around.
“We were all able to gel as a team on and off the court and really refocus ourselves for the second semester,” Myers said.
Head Coach Matt Nadelhoffer knew this trip would benefit his troops, who are now in the midst of a MAC playoff run.
“We learned a lot about our program and guys started to step into their new roles–it was a very positive trip,” Nadelhoffer said. “We wanted to give the players an opportunity to see a different part of the country to come closer together.”
While the main purpose of the trip was to compete, the players had opportunities to do more than just play the game.
“We were able to spend valuable time away from basketball to just hang out and enjoy each other, and I think that chemistry has translated to wins on the floor,” Myers said.
“This next semester our team will look a little different,” he said. “We used the experience to grow as a team and to formulate a new identity that seems to be going extremely well.”
Now, with the experience behind them, the team has one goal.
“We know what is at task in order for us to win,” Wright said. “As a program, we have improved because we all are dedicated to winning. We are willing to do whatever it takes.”
The men’s basketball team is without one of its top scorers this semester.
Senior Jason Reels was dismissed from Eastern for academic reasons. Before Reels’ departure, the three-year starter was averaging 15 points a game this season.
Reels also helped the Eagles offensively as they averaged 72 points a game during his eight-game tenure this year.
“I think we are going to be just fine,” Head Coach Matt Nadelhoffer said. “Losing a player is part of the game. We talked about it as a team. We are trying to get use to it. We have no choice but to move on. The guys have done that.”
Eastern is currently 3-6 without Reels, but the team has put up the same offensive numbers as they did before.
Sophomore guard Martin Soaries now leads the team with scoring, posting 17.6 points a contest, as first-year forward Alex Nelson has emerged as a go-to guy for the team, averaging 11.9 points a game.
“We rely on us being a full team than just relying on a couple guys,” senior captain Chris Myers said. “We run more offense now. We are not going to score as many points, but the tempo suits the way we play better. The steps that we are making are positive. There is no way to go but up.”
“Jason was the most vocal guy on the team,” Myers said. “It is a huge loss. We can still accomplish what we need to do, unfortunately without him.”
Nadelhoffer has already seen his troops stepping up to the challenge of filling the void.
“I think at first it was a little demoralizing,” Nadelhoffer said. “It is part of the game. It is part of being on a team. I just think Chris (Myers), Martin (Soaries), and Derek (Wright) have stepped up. It is not the end of our season. We have moved on.”
Now that the matchup is set for Super Bowl XLIV, let’s get ready for the story lines.
The Indianapolis Colts will battle the New Orleans Saints for the coveted Super Bowl title.
This Super Bowl marks the first time since Super Bowl XXVIII that both number one seeds from the AFC and NFC will face off in the NFL’s biggest event.
The Colts, who finished the regular season with 16 wins and two losses, are looking to win their second Super Bowl title in the past four years.
Peyton Manning, the Colts quarterback, has dominated at his position over the past couple seasons, setting countless records. However, many NFL experts believe he needs another championship to seal his spot as a football legend.
On the other side, the Saints will be striving for their first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
The Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees, lead his team to a 13-3 regular season record and will try to prove to everyone that he is more then just a fantasy league quarterback, but a championship-level leader.
These are great story lines.
The Super Bowl will consist of two high-power offenses. While a high-scoring game can be expected, both defenses are capable of making big plays at any given time.
Believe it or not, these two teams are evenly match, but that’s another story.
The Saints and Colts share one story–their journey to the Super Bowl.
Both teams were undefeated late in the regular season, making them easy favorites for the title match.
However, with a couple hiccup games at the end, the Colts and Saints went from being the teams to beat, to the teams expected to stumble in the playoffs.
After losing to the New York Jets in Week 16 of the regular season, the Colts’ run for perfection was over. They went on to lose the regular season finale the next week, appearing to be out of sync on their plays.
The Saints took a similar spill late in the season, losing to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. The Saints went on to drop the next two games to teams that did not even make it to the playoffs.
That said, both teams still earned the top seed in their respective conferences and responded similarly in their first playoff matches, shutting down their opponents and shutting up the critics that doubted them.
Now look who is in the Super Bowl.
Both teams looked ecstatic as they hoisted their respective conference championship trophies in the air after the games on Jan. 24.
However, amidst the celebrations, players on both sides knew they still had one more story left in the 2008-2009 season.
Watch as the final chapter unfolds on Feb. 7 in Miami, Fla. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on CBS.
Which team will get the fairy tail ending?
That is yet to be determined.
SIFE will be hosting a Super Bowl party in the Breezeway, beginning at 6:15 p.m.
Light snacks will be provided with games and prizes announced throughout the night.
In preparation for the big game with Cabrini, the Waltonian went to the top bird in the rivalry – the Eastern Eagle – to find out what goes on in that big feathery head.
Who’s your idol? Big Bird
What’s your favorite food? Fried Chicken
Describe your ideal first date:
Painting a self-portrait on the rock, then having chicken fingers at the Breezeway and finishing it off with a Mocha Java Blast.
What’s your favorite dance?
My version of the funky chicken, the groovy eagle.
What’s your ultimate goal in life?
To become the first bird president.
What sport did you play growing up? I flew cross-country.
What’s your favorite car?
I prefer flying, but if I have to drive, I like to roll in the Gator.
What’s your favorite song? Fly Eagles Fly!
What do you hate the most in life? Cabrini students
What’s your favorite outfit? I like to go all-natural.
What’s your favorite cheer?
When the cheerleaders spell my name correctly – E-A-G-L-E-S.
Men’s Basketball vs.
Valley Forge Millitary 7 p.m.
Men’s Basketball @
@ PSU-Hazelton TBD
@ Montclair Tip-off Tournament
Arcadia @ Cedar Crest Invitational
Women’s Basketball @ PSU-Brandywine
@ Valley Forge Christian College
Basketball @ King’s
Women’s 6 p.m.
Men’s 8 p.m.
Women’s 1 p.m.
Men’s 3 p.m.
In its fourth season, PowderPuff can finally crown a new champion: Gallup. The ladies in pink defeated Gough in the SuperBowl, 2-0, dethroning three-time champion Kea-Guffin.
After winning in overtime against Gough during the regular season, Gallup’s defense took the spotlight in the SuperBowl, containing Gough’s strong run game. Fittingly, the defense was also responsible for the game’s only score when first-year Paige Quill tackled Gough’s runningback junior Abby Briggs in the endzone with less than two minutes left in the game.
Gallup quarterback sophomore Jackie Frisch made the safety possible the drive before when she lead the offense to the one-yard line. Quill took advantage of the field position and was mobbed by teammates after pulling the flag.
With a championship atmosphere in the air, three Eastern teams advanced into the NCAA Division III national tournament by defending their 2008 MAC Freedom Conference titles on Nov. 7. Field hockey, volleyball, and women’s soccer all won their second MAC championships in Eastern’s second season in the conference. All three teams received key contributions from underclassmen during their stellar performances in the final matches. Field hockey and volleyball electrified the home crowd, while the women’s soccer team stunned its nationally-ranked opponent’s crowd with an upset.
Known for their explosive offensive unit, the Lady Eagles’ defense came up huge on Saturday. Eastern, ranked 20th in the nation, used two second half goals from first-year players to defeat King’s College, 2-0. The win was the second consecutive Freedom Conference Championship that the team has brought to Eastern. With this victory, the Eagles earned an automatic bid into the 2009 NCAA Division III national tournament.
The game was far from easy, hower, because King’s refused to give up. Throughout the entire game, the Monarchs kept Eastern on its toes. Coming into the game, Eastern had averaged a little fewer than three goals per game. The team had put up three or more goals on the scoreboard 11 times during the season. When it came to the offensive department, the Lady Eagles could get the job done.
King’s was able to keep The Lady Eagles’ offensive unit at bay, but not for long.
Eastern finally found some room in the Monarchs’ defense with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Sophomore Yvonne Herbster was able to rip a shot, but the Kings’ defense was able to collect the save. First-year Kelby Bolton was at the right spot at the right time to hit the ball in the back of the cage to finally give the team its first score.
Bolton’s goal may have put pressure on the Monarchs’ defense but, five minutes later, Eastern was able to put the game out of reach with another goal. This time, senior Elya Troup was able to find first-year Brittany Moyer for the score.
The Eagles’ defense stood firm the entire game and allowed King’s only four shots in the entire game. Junior goalie Laura Ressler picked up her sixth shutout of the season.
Senior back Leslie Messick earned Championship MVP Honors with her outstanding play in anchoring the back line for Eastern.
Eastern takes a 10-game winning streak into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Saturday found the Eastern women’s soccer team standing on a familar stage. Having won conference championships in 2007 and 2008 the Lady Eagles knew just what was needed to get the job done. With that said, the away match against Freedom Conference top-seed Manhattanville could have easily ended the streak–but it didn’t. Eastern was able to upset the Valiants, 1-0.
The win earned the team its third consecutive championship title–one from the PAC and two in the MAC. The team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals last season, becoming the first Eastern team ever to reach the Elite 8 in the national tournament.
Revenge was on the agenda for Eastern after Manhattanville defeated the team, 3-0, during the regular season, which knocked Eastern into third in the conference standings. The Valiants had been red-hot, winning 13 consecutive games coming into the championship match.
Minutes into the match, both teams missed chances to score the first goal. As the game went on, scoring opportunities started to fade. In the 42nd minute of play, Eastern finally got on the board with sophomore Tess Beckwith’s eight goal of the year. It looked to be one of the most important goals of Beckwith’s collegiate career, thus far as the Eastern defense was able to hold the Valiants’ offense scoreless the rest of the game.
First- year goalkeeper Alysia Goodman earned Championship MVP honors, recording six saves en route to the shutout.
With the last match of the day, the women’s volleyball team continued their stellar play with a win over second-seeded DeSales to complete the Eastern championship sweep.
Eastern took the first set, 25-17. The team was able to produce 19 kills in the set, one more than the Bulldogs tallied in the entire match.
Sophomore Mary Poole helped Eastern make a statement early with her dominate play in the opening set. The middle blocker collected a match-best 13 kills on the day, eventually earning MVP honors.
The second set was no different for Eastern. The Lady Eagles’ defense stood strong to prevent any chance of a DeSales comeback. First-year Kelly Groff and sophomore Nikki Kummerer both stood out defensively for the Eagles in the second set and each reached double digits in digs in the match. The team cruised to a 25-12 win in game two.
In the third set DeSales did not stand a chance. Poole’s solid play, including four kills in a six-point span, helped Eastern win the set 25-14.
All-American sophomore Courtney Reinhold finished with a match-high 14 digs and 12 kills, while fellow All-American sophomore Maria Horning paced the Eastern attack, which finished with a .429 hitting percentage. Horning added 39 assists of her own.
Last season Eastern advanced to the Sweet 16. With the win on Saturday, the Eagles, ranked 23rd nationally, advanced to the NCAA tournament for the tenth time in the past 11 years.