The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team broke open a scoreless tie with three minutes remaining in the first half, and then poured in five more in the second stanza, to take a 6-1 win over visiting York College at the CSI Soccer Complex at as part of CUNYAC play this afternoon. The win moved CSI to 7-8-1 overall and 4-1 in the CUNYAC, while the Cardinals fell to 4-10, 2-5, respectively.
Despite the lop-sided final score, it was the Cardinals that at times dominated play in the first half. The visitors’ fast, aggressive style, mixed in with a sharp wind at their backs, proved dangerous and if not for a trio of remarkable saves from CSI goalie John Gioeli, the Cardinals could have taken a sizable advantage early. Down in the shot column, 10-2, CSI then made a big opportunity count with just three minutes to go in the frame. Sophomore Nermin Kurtesi unleashed a corner kick that found a darting Dardan Nika, who redirected the shot off the inside of his right boot far corner to beat YC keeper Leszak Stankiewicz to give CSI a big 1-0 lead just moments before the half.
CSI almost punched in another goal, but a questionable foul near the top of the box for CSI waived off a goal right before the half and despite being outshot , 10-3, at the break, CSI had themselves a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, CSI left little to doubt. Just a few frames in, Nika led a counterattack up the pitch, and freshman Remiah Rodney cross a ball into the box. Stankiewicz, expecting a shot from Alfonso Castaneda positioned himself, but Castaneda let the ball go through to a streaking Horatio Reid, who punched a ball in short side to stake CSI to a 2-0 lead just 1:58 into the frame. CSI then tempered a resilient York attack, until Kurtesi gave CSI a 3-0 lead on a beautiful bending ball from 25 yards out that left Stankiewicz motionless. Kurtesi pumped the ball in after a Rodney shot was deflected to him.
Inside of 20 minutes to play, York made things interesting when Rohan Burrell towered over the CSI defense to head a ball in off of a Diron Duah corner kick, making it 3-1. York did not have much time to celebrate, however, as just 2:55 later, a Marcin Klim pass found a wide-open Rodney in the York box. Rodney patiently side-stepped the keeper and dashed a ball in short side to give CSI a 4-1 lead. Four minutes later, via a free kick, Kurtesi struck again, this time via a dazzling free kick that skipped off the turf and into the net passed a defenseless Stankiewicz.
In the waning moments, substitution Rami Garah stuffed in a goal right near the goal mouth when a would-be Klim off-angle shot was heading wide of the net. That made the score a lop-sided 6-1, and the lead held till the final horn.
After being out-shot in the first frame, 10-3, CSI out-shot York after the game by a 22-18 count (16-8 on goal). Stankiewicz made 10 saves in defeat, while Gioeli, certainly a hero for his early work keeping the game scoreless, finished with seven saves. CSI improved to 26-10-1 all-time over York, and have now won the last five meetings dating back to 2010.
CSI will next face off against John Jay College in a top of the table matchup on Monday, October 13, at Randall’s Island, at 4pm. Both teams are tied for first place in the CUNYAC with a 4-1 overall mark.