In what was the final game played in the 3rd Annual CSI Soccer Kick-Off Classic, Trine University scored a pair of second-half goals to pull ahead of the College of Staten Island by a final, 3-1, count, at the CSI Soccer Complex on a sun-soaked field. The visitors from Indiana left the pitch with a 1-0-1 record after the Classic, while the Dolphins fell to 0-2.
Despite the final result on the scoreboard, the game was a see-saw battle for what looked to be two evenly-matched teams. Still, the first 90-minutes belonged to the Thunder, as they accounted for most of the possession and the spirited attacks towards goal. The visitors were also aggressive on the defensive, scoring a host of turnovers near midfield that led to counter-attacking measures that put pressure on the CSI back line and keeper John Gioeli.
The turnover is what led to Trine’s first goal that came at the 13:47 mark. A misplayed clearing attempt bounced on to TU’s Mac Green, who slid a through-ball feed to Nick Lang, who put a ball just below the crossbar from straightaway just inside the penalty box. That gave the visitors a 1-0 edge they would ultimately take into intermission. CSI was out-shot, 7-4, in the frame, and registered only a single shot on goal that did not test Trine starter Chris Stewart.
CSI needed to amp up offensively in the second frame, and they did just that. Although they struggled for the quality chance, their possession was increased, and after weathering a pair of Trine chances, CSI got the break they needed in the 56th-minute. There, the Dolphins generated a turnover of their own from about 30 yards out, and after freshman Aldair Ramirez gathered the ball on the right flank, he sent a cross in to sophomore Nicholas Bacarella. The forward, who missed CSI’s opener due to injury, side-stepped a defender and launched a rocket passed Stewart on the lower far post, scoring CSI’s first goal of the season, and knotting the score at 1-1.
Trine responded to the call, however, and started to put lots of offensive pressure on the Dolphins. The visitors generated a series of runs, and nearly scored a pair of times before finally taking the lead at 64:54. There, Nelson Pelphrey was able to take a loose ball that CSI surrendered in the box and blast it into goal off of a CSI defender. With the score tied for only eight minutes, Trine reassumed the lead at 2-1.
With CSI pressing for an equalizer, Trine doubled their lead 10 minutes later when in an unfortunate break; a would-be shot attempt was touched by a defender in the penalty box. Senior Karston Shephard took the penalty for Trine, and even though Gioeli guessed right on the dive, the ball was snugged into the lower right corner of goal to make it 3-1. CSI threatened on a few occasions down the stretch but failed to answer. The closest CSI came to cutting into the lead came on a Bacarella blast from nearly 30 yards out that beat reserve keeper Ian Jindrich but grazed off of the crossbar, and a Horatio Reid shot from point-blank range that was blocked by a defender with less than four minutes to play.
By the final whistle, CSI was out-shot, 17-9 (9-4 on goal), and the Thunder held a modest, 3-1, edge in corner kicks. Trine was whistled for four offsides in the game and both Pelphrey and Stewart picked up yellow cautions. CSI’s Ruben Diaz picked up a yellow as well.CSI will be back in action on Wednesday night, when they travel to Gaelic Park to take on New York University in non-conference action at 7pm.