The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team saw a quick ending to its hopes for a CUNYAC postseason tournament championship, falling to the visiting No. 5 Lehman College Lightning, 4-0, as part of the quarterfinal round of the 2010 CUNYAC/Applebee’s Men’s Soccer Championship. The season for the No. 4 Dolphins will now finalize at 4-11-2 overall, while the Lightning will improve to 6-11-1 and advance into the semifinal round on Saturday at Metropolitan Oval.
During the regular season, CSI and Lehman completed a 90-minute stalemate at 0-0 before the Dolphins scored a golden goal in overtime to win. For the game’s first 45 minutes, it seemed destined for an encore, as the two teams battled for positioning, quality chances, and improved possession in the first stanza. Then wth just 10 seconds remaining in the game, the game took a decisive turn.
Lehman striker Assami Valian went in on a rush and with just a single second left his shot careened on the post, on a would-be rebound, a CSI player inadvertently touched the ball with the hand, and with no time remaining on the clock, the Lightning were awarded a penalty shot. the CSI players and coaches argued that the foul came after time had expired, but to no avail, as Lehman’s Enes Dervisevic roped a shot into the low left hand corner to stake the visitors to a 1-0 intermission lead.
From there, CSI was forced to play desperate, and while they were able to test LC keeper Marcos Coto-Batres on a handful of occasions, the Lightning were able to use the counterattack to thwart any CSI comeback. CSI keeper Ahmed El-Ghareib made two unbelievable saves to keep the game to within one, but finally, at 77:58, Valian hit paydirt on a breakaway goal off of a turnover beating El-Ghareib on the short side. The goal gave Lehman a decisive 2-0 edge.
To seal the deal, the Lightning’s Geovanny Arredondo added a breakaway goal at 84:30, before Valian tapped his final marker with 2:16 to play, another one-on-one goal with the keeper.
Lehman outshot CSI, 19-14 (11-4 on goal), as Coto-Batres made all four saves for the win. Despite the victory, Lehman was hit for five yellow cards, one each for Dervisevic, Paulin Haxhari, Arredondo, Thaddeus Ikwuka, and Valian. CSI’s Kenneth Zaw was hit with a caution as well.
For CSI, it was the second time in three seasons that they fell in an opening round game on their home field. CSI dropped a quarterfinal decision in 2008 to Brooklyn College. Lehman, meanwhile, picked up their first-ever playoff victory in program history. Lehman was a club program in 2008, before becoming varsity in 2009.