The College of Staten Island women’s soccer team followed up a tough loss in the opening round of their own Fall Classic with a 1-1 draw with non-conference rivals New Jersey City University at a sun-soaked CSI Soccer Complex this afternoon in a game that went two overtimes. Both teams managed second-half goals just 4:14 apart, getting limited chances in the extra frames. The Dolphins moved to 0-1-1 thus far this season, while NJCU, after a 1-11-1 season a year ago, lifted to 1-0-1.
Quality chances were few and far between the entire way, although play was spirited on both sides. The game followed a lightning delay and when play did commence, the humid and hot conditions made for less-than-ideal conditions. The teams battled through, looking for chances when dominating possession for certain chunks of time. Still, neither team was able to put forward high-quality chances as starting keepers Victoria Donegan (CSI) and Brittany Hoffman (NJCU) combined for five rather uneventful first-half saves, and both teams’ back-lines stood strong in the face of the attacking waves.
At intermission, the game was deadlocked at 0-0, but in the second half, play did eventually open up. After NJCU held possession early, CSI began to wrestle away control and new keeper Cassie Lubonski was forced to make a pair of saves, the toughest on an off-angle shot by Danielle Alexandrini who broke free from the left of goal early-on. As play moved deeper into the frame, CSI got a break they needed. Maintaining possession through the midfield, Alexandrini broke in again on the right against Claudia Gomez, and the junior attracted the defense in the box as she slipped in a through-bass to senior Samantha Wysokowski, who buried her second goal in as many days passed Lubonski for the first tally at 54:05.
NJCU immediately responded by pressing, and after a pair of failed rushes, the team struck gold when Jubeth Buitrago fed a short through-ball in the middle of the pitch which found a streaking Laura Bustamante break the CSI offsides trap. With CSI defender Adrianna Parello trailing on her hip, Bustamante calmly raced in to the box and laced a shot into the top left corner of the goal passed CSI keeper Kristy Colangelo, who replaced Donegan at halftime. That knotted the score at 1-1, and from there, the stalemate ensued.
Both teams jockeyed for positioning but were met with a series of frustrations. The Dolphins would come up with another stellar chance to score when Wysokowski made two crossover moves at the top of the box to split defenders and seemingly looked to score before Lubonski would pounce on the ball, ending the threat. The teams boasted 10 shots in total through two periods, sending the game into overtime.
After a rather uneventful first overtime frame, the game’s biggest moment came just moments into the second extra session. NJCU goal-scorer Bustamante garnered another breakaway opportunity after a would-be CSI clearing attempt was misplayed by a deflection. Bustamante needed to act quickly, but the freshman put another ball into the top shelf, only this time Colangelo was the wiser, sprawling to make a fingertip save, preserving the game and allowing the CSI faithful to exhale. The Dolphins got off their only two overtime shots later in the frame, but both were blocked near the top of the goal box, never disturbing Lubonski.
Both teams would finish with 12 total shots (NJCU led 9-7 in shots on goal), and the Gothic Knights held a slight, 3-2, edge in corner kicks. Colangelo led all keepers with five saves. Bustamante tallied three shots (all on goal) for NJCU, while CSI’s Wysokowski and Alexandrini finished with a trio apiece.
Up next for CSI will be a date with Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday, September 4, at 4pm, at the CSI Soccer Complex. In the other half of women’s play of the Classic, Illinois Institute of Technology dismantled John Jay College, 7-0, in a game that was shortened in the 77th-minute due to lightning.