The College of Staten Island men’s soccer squad made a strong opening CUNYAC statement today, dropping defending-champion Baruch College by a 2-0 count earlier this afternoon at the CSI Soccer Complex.  It was the Dolphins first win over the Bearcats since 2007, breaking a string of eight-straight defeats to the Manhattan school.  CSI won for the third-straight time, lifting to 3-5 overall and 1-0 in the CUNYAC while the Bearcats dropped to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in the CUNYAC.

The first CUNYAC contest for each of these teams this season started off very competitively as it would turn into a very physical game with five fouls only five minutes into the game.  CSI had a good chance to score early on when a cross came in from Daniel Tsygankov and Nicholas Bacarella volleyed the ball which went wide of the target.

Later in the frame, Bacarella nearly connected again with a golden opportunity to score when a through ball was sent with pace to the opposite side of the field where he shot it just wide. In all, CSI was knocking on the door all half, as the Bearcats escaped what seemed like nearly half a dozen CSI quality chances to score.

But CSI did ultimately hit twine.  Alfonso Castaneda scored a beautiful one-time shot on a cross from Dardan Nika to put the Dolphins up 1-0 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.  Horatio Reid came into the game and made an immediate impact as just two minutes after coming on the field as he created a breakaway opportunity for the Dolphins which he shot just inches wide of the goal nearly putting the Dolphins up 2-0.  Reid didn’t score but he would impact the game again when he received a sneaky back heel pass into open space inside the 18 yard box but knocked it off the near post.  The Dolphins kept the pressure up as Castaneda almost put the Dolphins up 2-0 with 30 seconds remaining in the half but the keeper came up with a huge save preventing the half time talks from changing.

CSI outshot the Bearcats 10-5 in the first half with Castaneda leading the team with three shots and the lone goal of the half.  There was a total of 19 fouls in a physical first half, 10 for Baruch and 9 for CSI. 

Naturally with any conference match, the game got a little chippy in the second half and the yellow cards started to come out.  There were five yellow cards handed out in the second half, three of which were issued to Baruch and two to CSI. 

CSI finally doubled their lead in the second half when Horatio Reid crossed the ball into the box to Tsygankov who tipped it to Bacarella who was able to beat Helder Correia who was out of position in the low corner to put the Dolphins up 2-0 with 28 minutes remaining.  From there, CSI tightened defensively and Baruch could not muster up enough chances to claw their way back into it.

“This was our best effort of the season,” said senior captain Castaneda.  “Coach told us they would go all out in the second half but we were up for the challenge and we never lost our intensity.  It feels good to win.”

CSI posted 18 shots this game with five of them on goal while the Bearcats were held to just 9 shots and only one shot on goal.  The teams amassed 40 fouls this game, 18 for Baruch and 22 for CSI.

The men are back in action Tuesday, September 23, when they will travel to take on Old Westbury at 4:00 pm.