Lirim Begai added an assist on the day in the loss

The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team controlled the tempo and won the shooting battle, but it was Baruch College that got the better of the Dolphins on the scoreboard, winning 2-1 in a match played earlier this afternoon at the CSI Soccer Complex.  The win improved Baruch to 2-4-3 overall and 1-0-2 in conference play while CSI fell to 5-6 overall and evened to 1-1 within the CUNYAC.

The two teams played to a 0-0 stalemate after the opening 45 minutes, as neither team was able to muster up a genuine quality scoring opportunity.  A couple of long range line drives by the Dolphins proved to be the only test to BC keeper Peter DiBona, while CSI keeper Ahmed El-Ghareib made his finest stops on interceptions of would-be crosses in the goal mouth.  Although the Dolphins were winning the possession battle, the teams compromised field position regularly, exchanging a host of long range balls that never seemed to find their mark.

After leading the shot count, 8-5, at the break, CSI pulled off the next three shots, two on goal, before Baruch would tally.  After a feverish rush by the Dolphins, Baruch’s Akil George lofted a ball above the CSI line of defense from his own end of the field, which found a streaking Vincent Cruz, who beat the offsides trap to race in on El-Ghareib and score an unimpeded marker into the low left-hand corner of the net, giving the visitors a 1-0 edge. 

From there, CSI again controlled tempo, littering the Baruch net with attempts and crosses that were either slung wide or corralled by DiBona.  Finally, a turnover by the Baruch defense, sprung junior Lirim Begai to make a run down the right side, he slung a cross that fellow freshman Betsam Sosa headed into the goal that was swept off of the goal line by a BC defender, but the loose ball found CSI leading scorer Nedgy Nazon, who planted the shot into the net for the equalizer at 68:02.

No sooner could the Dolphins celebrate, then Baruch wrestled the lead back.  Exactly 38 seconds later, a rush up the right side and into the box by George led to a pass to his teammate Cruz on the left of the goal mouth.  Cruz fired once and his shot was blocked, then calmly dribbled to his right and fired a missile that jetted past El-Ghareib and into the cage for the 2-1 lead.

CSI would take six of the next seven shots and almost got even on another Nazon shot with just over three minutes to play, but DiBona, who made 13 saves overall, kept proving up to the task, sealing the win, and leaving the frustrated Dolphins with the home loss.

CSI finished ahead on shots, 22-8 (14-4 on goal), holding a modest 4-3 edge in corner kicks.  CSI’s Alfonso Castaneda was issued a yellow card in the game while a trio of yellow bookings was issued to the Bearcats (Arling Stafaj, DeBona, and Nayab Akbari).

CSI will be back in action on Saturday, continuing their CUNYAC slate of games with a game against Medgar Evers College at 2pm at the CSI Soccer Complex.  The CSI women also play MEC, at 12 Noon.