The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team grabbed its third-straight win this afternoon, dominating Purchase State statistically in a 2-0 non-conference affair at the CSI Soccer Complex. CSI, winners of six of their last seven games, improved to 6-6 overall, while the Panthers, who were missing six of their normal starters, fell to 5-4-1.
The Dolphins put on the pressure early and often and play was dominated in the Purchase end of the field from the opening stages. Still, the Panthers were able to weather the waves and CSI’s opportunities for actual shots were limited. It wasn’t until a trio of substitutions were made in the 25th-minute that CSI really turned on the offensive jets. CSI had a 5-1 edge in shots at the time, but 43 seconds after CSI’s first wave of subs, which included the entrance of Dardan Nika, the Dolphins tallied. Nika was the catalyst, converging on a loose ball, dribbling in the air and then chipping the ball over the defense and into the box for Ruben Diaz, who moved from defense to the attacking midfield with the substitutions. Diaz calmly placed a ball into the low opposite post passed keeper Esteban Aguilar to give CSI the 1-0 lead.
The Dolphins would ultimately finish with a 15-3 edge in shots in the frame, but they could not muster up another quality chance despite several rushes towards goal.
In the second stanza, Purchase’s Thomas Ogrodnik came in to play goal and the freshman had to deal with a swarm of CSI pressure. This time CSI got on the board early. At 10:44 of the frame, Alfonso Castaneda raced on to a loose ball and beat two defenders on the dribble, sending a pass to Nika on the near sideline. Nika followed by slashing passed a defender and placing a ball across the goal mouth that CSI leading scorer Nicholas Bacarella one-timed into the twine for a goal, his seventh of the season.
CSI held on defensively from there, not allowing another shot attempt. CSI keeper John Gioeli did not have to make a save in net but made plenty of would-be crossing stops and interceptions at the top of his box. In a mirror image of the first half, CSI had a goal negated due to an offsides call on Marcin Klim in the second frame as well.
By the final whistle, CSI owned a healthy 32-3 edge in shots (10-0 on goal), and led the corner count, 8-0. CSI’s Frank Mirabella was issued a yellow card in the contest, as was Purchase’s Renato Martins, who had all three shots for the Panthers. The short-handed Panthers played with only two substitutions, as many of their players had classroom commitments that prevented them from travelling for the game.
The win over the Panthers was the first for CSI over Purchase since 2001, and improved the Dolphins to 3-2-1 all-time against them.
CSI next kicks off on Wednesday when they travel to The College of New Jersey for a 7:30pm non-conference draw with the Lions.