The College of Staten Island women’s soccer team won back-to-back games for the first time this season, making the most of their offensive chances and the surviving a feverish flurry to score a 3-2 non-conference win over visiting New Jersey City University this afternoon at the CSI Soccer Complex. The Dolphins moved to 3-1 overall with the win, while the Gothic Knights saw their winless streak move to three games, falling to 1-3-2.
In an evenly played game through most of the 90 minutes, both teams seemed relegated to capitalizing on counter-attacking chances. Although NJCU directed more shots onto the CSI net, it was the Dolphins that produced the game’s first score. A sterling lead pass from the middle of the field by Melissa Gelardi found a streaking Gabriela Galeano on the right flank, and the sophomore laced a direct cross inside the box that found junior Demi-Jean Martorano for a sliding shot passed NJCU keeper Brittany Hoffman. For Martorano, it was her fifth goal of the season.
From there, the Gothic Knights amped up the pressure, and the visitors seemed primed for an equalizer when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 19th minute, when forward Brianna Taylor was spilled in the box. NJCU’s Devon Williams lined up to take the shot, but CSI keeper Victoria Donegan was up to the task, diving to her left to turn away the shot. The save, however, was disallowed, as Donegan was whistled for leaving her line too early, giving Williams a second chance to shoot. The NJCU striker once again went to the left but Donegan wasn’t fooled, pouncing on the ball to avert the second attempt as well, preserving the lead.
Just over 12 minutes later, with CSI controlling the tempo, Galeano got to a loose ball and directed a pass to Martorano on the left side, and the junior turned in a no-look pass into the middle of the field, finding an open Samantha Wysokowski who beat an NJCU offsides trap and raced in one-on-one against Hoffman. With the defense bearing down on her Wysokowski darted to her right and calmly put a shot above Hoffman, who came racing out of goal to impede her. The goal put CSI up 2-0 at the 31:27 mark, and CSI took the lead into intermission.
Although the Knights worked feverishly to try and get back into the game, it was the Dolphins that seemed to control the flow in early stages of the second frame. The Knights settled for a few long range attempts that Donegan played with ease, while the Dolphins worked for more quality chances. In the 63rd minute, the home team capitalized again. After Galeano raced to get a loose ball and won her team a corner kick, Gelardi did the honors for CSI, and drove a line-drive shot on a line that Wysokowski reached out and powered in passed Hoffman who again was a half-step from making a save. The goal was Wysokowski’s team-leading sixth of the season, and gave CSI a commanding, 3-0, edge.
From there, CSI seemed to weather the continuous NJCU storms up the field. Donegan turned back five of her game’s 13 shots in the second frame, but a bulk of them were one or two-hoppers that she was able to corral with ease. But just when it seemed like NJCU was put away, the team was resurrected when Angelica Glover was turned loose into the CSI box on a breakaway. Needing to make a play, Gelardi shoved Glover off of the ball, but the sophomore was whistled for a foul, giving the Knights another penalty kick. This time NJCU leading scorer Taylor did the honors, and she laced a shot to Donegan’s right to cut the CSI lead to 3-1 with just 5:06 to play.
No more than four minutes later, again CSI was whistled for a foul in the box, this time getting unlucky when a would-be pass into the goal box was accidently touched by the hand of a CSI player. Now with just 1:44 remaining, Taylor lined up again to take a penalty, and again she made good on a shot to Donegan’s right side, narrowing the score to 3-2. From there, however, CSI tightened and did not allow another shot, and held on to the 3-2 win despite momentum clearly in the Gothic Knight’s favor at that point.
NJCU held the final edge in shots, 20-17 (15-7 on goal), but the quality scoring chances were seemingly balanced. NJCU earned seven corner kicks to CSI’s five, but were flagged for eight offsides calls to CSI’s four. Donegan made 13 saves in the win while Hoffman posted four saves in defeat.
CSI will return to action on Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Purchase State College in a non-conference test at 12 Noon.