Spartan Men Stay Undefeated with 4-3 Win in Home Opener versus Franklin

(L-R) Chris Cvecko and Jacob Grindel
(L-R) Chris Cvecko and Jacob Grindel

CLEVELAND – Freshman forward Jacob Grindel (Milwaukee, Wis./Marquette University HS) scored the first two goals of his collegiate career, and sophomore midfielder Chris Cvecko (Erie, Pa./McDowell) registered a career-high three assists to lead the Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team to 4-3 victory versus Franklin College (Ind.) in the 2013 home opener on Saturday afternoon at Case Field.

The Spartans improve to 3-0-3 and will conclude a brief, two-match homestand versus local-rival John Carroll University this Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Case Field.

With their loss, the Grizzlies drop to 2-4-1.

Case wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard as Grindel tapped home an early goal at the 1:53 mark following a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Dean Balabanov (Chicago, Ill./University of Chicago Laboratory) that was collected by Cvecko and eventually sent into the box on a cross.

Franklin would score an equalizer at 17:11 when Antonio Gioe scored on a rebound after freshman goalkeeper Ari Lewis (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) saved a shot by William Hilgendorf.

The match would stay tied for less than 10 minutes, however, as senior midfielder Marco Patrie (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster Schools) scored following a beautiful interchange between Cvecko and sophomore forward Matthew Zembas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley N.W.).

The Spartans would add another goal before halftime when Zembas pounced on a defensive error and beat the Grizzly goalie in a 1-on-1 situation.

Early into the second, Grindel would score his second goal of the game at the 54:51 mark. Sophomore midfielder Slater Jameson (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon) sent a cross into Cvecko, who deflected a pass to Grindel.

The Grizzlies would not go quietly, however, as they scored two goals just six minutes apart to make the game 4-3. Austin Fundenberger scored on a long free kick at 63:36 and then assisted a Hilgendorf goal with 22:28 left in the match. Case buckled down defensively following the third Franklin goal and saw out the match without any further serious threats.

Overall, the Spartans dominated statistically with the advantage in shots (20-10), shots on goal (10-7) and corner kicks (5-2).