The College of Staten Island women’s soccer team took a big first step in defense of its back-to-back CUNYAC Postseason Championship, taking the conference regular season title thanks to a 3-0 win over John Jay College this afternoon at Randall’s Island in New York, NY. The win broke up a tie atop the CUNYAC standings, and gives the Dolphins the No. 1 seed in the four-team tournament beginning on Wednesday, November 1.
Both the Dolphins and Bloodhounds entered the game with identical 4-0-1 marks within the conference, and CSI needed a win or tie to claim the regular season title. With that in mind, CSI had its foot on the gas from the start, out-shooting JJC, 8-1, in the opening stanza. It wasn’t until late, however, that CSI was able to register, and it was CSI leading shot-taker this season Lauren Smith who did the honors. Smith collected a long leading pass from Susan Aracena that led to a breakaway, and one-on-one against JJC keeper Nicole DiNardo, Smith was able to place the ball in the corner of the goal to CSI a commanding 1-0 edge.
The score would stay 1-0 going into intermission, but with CSI playing solid defense in front of keeper Kaila DiBenedetto, the Dolphins looked prime for victory.
With JJC forced to go more on the offensive, CSI used the opportunity to turn defense into offense quickly via the counterattack, and just 10 minutes into the second half, it was Brittany Bornstead who collected a pass from Nicole Mignone, and launched a laser passed DiNardo that ricocheted off the post and in to give CSI all the insurance it would need, 2-0.
The score stayed level at 2-0 until the final seconds, when senior Kaitlin Russo volleyed a cross into the box that Mignone was able to punch in to make it 3-0, right before the final whistle. It was last of nine shots in the frame by the Dolphins, as they held on for the final few seconds and insured the 3-0 win.
CSI led the final shot count, 17-3 (14-1 on goal) and held a modest 3-1 edge in corner kicks. DiNardo made 11 shots in defeat while DiBenedetto took the one-save shutout.
The win for CSI upped the Dolphins to 11-5-1 overall and they will host CCNY in the CUNYAC Semifinals on Wednesday, November 1 at the CSI Soccer Complex. Start time will be tentatively scheduled for 3pm. In the CUNYAC’s other Semifinal, No. 2 John Jay will host No. 3 Lehman College. In CSI’s regular season meeting, they tied CCNY, 2-2. The win over JJC today was the 9th straight for CSI in the series and lifted CSI to 15-0-2 all-time against the Bloodhounds.