Flashback Friday is looking back at the top moments from the 2017-18 athletic year each Friday over the summer at the College of Staten Island. This week, we finish the top half of our countdown and look at the No. 6 moment, the Dolphins’ third-straight CUNYAC Championship victory, a 2-0 affair over Lehman College that took place at the CSI campus.
#6 – Aparicio scores pair as CSI downs Lehman, 2-0, to win third-straight title
Date: November 4, 2017
Who: CSI Women’s Soccer Team
Where: CSI Soccer Complex – Staten Island, NY
What Happened: After a 0-0 draw at halftime and CSI out-shooting Lehman only 2-1 after 45 minutes, the Dolphins exploded in a second half that featured two goals from sophomore Lizbeth Aparicio off of CSI set pieces. Aparicio was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, and scored four of her six goals during the 2017 season against the Lightning. For CSI, it marked their third-straight title and in the first in that span that they won on their home field.
Q&A…with Lizbeth Aparicio
Liz, first things first, to be the only goal scorer in CSI’s biggest game of the year, in a championship, on your home field, and to score two to boot, how did it all feel for you? Being able to score both goals in the championship game in our home field was a great accomplishment. It was a great feeling however, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Soccer is about working as a team and without them this couldn’t have happened.
Both goals during the game came on set pieces, as did the two you scored against Lehman in the regular season. Can you explain what it is that you do on those plays and how you were able to come open? There really is no method to what I do on those set plays. I just try to run into open space, I never try to stand still and I’m always on the move to seek an opportunity.
After the first half of the game, the score was tied and it was an even half really. But you dominated in the second half. What happened? I feel like the first half we were all a bit nervous because it was the championship game and we wanted to win. Also, there was the fact that it was in our home field influencing us, so the first half was just trying to get a feel for the game. In the second half we were more confident and determined to win.
I think it was clear coming in that despite Lehman’s talent, CSI was the favorite in the game. Is it hard to be in a position as the favorite on your home field in a situation like that? Yes, it’s a hard position because it’s the championship game. The team is already nervous and being the favorite team definitely brings more pressure to the team.
This team has won championships before, but with a lot of new faces on the team, this one certainly meant a great deal. What were the major differences between this year’s team and the one that won last year’s championship? Yes, with a lot of new faces we sure had many challenges, but I think the biggest challenge we faced this year compared to others is having chemistry on the field and for the new players to get a feel on how college soccer is compared to high school soccer.
Liz, you’re normally a defensive player, but obviously with six goals, you don’t mind getting near the front to be offensive. Where do you feel most comfortable on the field? Yes, I try to go up and help my team with whatever I can do. In any position they put me, I try my best to do what that position requires however, I feel more confident playing as a defender.
Something about Lehman, you scored two goals against them earlier in the year as well. Are you thinking they will probably be double and triple-teaming you next year? They will definitely keep an eye on me I believe, scoring on them in the regular season and in the championship game. I would only say to keep an eye on a player who would do that.
Obviously in a sport like soccer, you need 11 individuals working together to win, but how did it make you feel personally to win MVP honors, especially as a sophomore with half of your career still in front of you? Yes, it’s a great accomplishment and I couldn’t be any happier but I couldn’t have received this award without the help of my teammates. Like I always say, we win, tie, and lose as a team so I thank them because without them I couldn’t have accomplished this.
You were also named the team’s MVP at the Awards Banquet by your coach. That had to be a great feeling. How can you put into words your career here at CSI so far? So far it has been a great experience and playing the sport you love with an amazing group of girls is very heartwarming.
Of course, the big news around women’s soccer was the departure of your coach, Giuseppe Pennetti. Now under a new full-time coach in Brittany Casares, what are your expectations for the upcoming season and beyond? We do expect great things for this upcoming season, especially since we have won three championships in a row we want this to keep going. With our new coach, we believe she’s going to make us keep working harder and, for sure, achieve our goals as an individual and as a team.