The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team enjoyed an exciting CUNYAC season, bagging their first CUNYAC Regular Season Championship since 2003, and the squad was rewarded handsomely with a total of six end-of-year honors issued by the conference. The most prized honor was collected by Head Coach John Tardy, who earned Coach of the Year honors. Lone four-year senior Alfonso Castaneda enjoyed a first-team all-star citation along with the conference’s Sportsmanship Award in 2014. Ruben Diaz and Nermin Kurtesi also took home first-team honors while John Gioeli and Jacob Szumanski earned spots on the All-CUNY second-team.
In his third season as coach, Tardy has built a legitimate contender at CSI. The team ripped through a 6-1-1 CUNYAC regular season, and finished 10-9-2 overall after a rough, 0-5, start. The team boasted only two seniors this season and only one senior starter in Castaneda. So far, Tardy has amassed a career record of 30-31-4.
Castaneda, a four-year starter enjoyed another excellent turn on the pitch this season. The senior finished with five goals and a pair of assists, bringing his career assist total to 23, good for second all-time in CSI history. He also led the squad with 63 total shots and a pair of game-winners. Nermin Kurtesi finished the season as one of CSI’s hottest scorers. He finished one goal shy of the team lead with seven markers on just 28 shots, adding a pair of assists in 18 games. Defensive stalwart Ruben Diaz was CSI’s final first team all-star, making 19 starts and adding a lone goal on 10 total shots. The team’s starting center back was one of four defenders on the first-team.
Making his second appearance as a CUNYAC all-star was Jacob Szumanski, another CSI defender platooning on the back line. Szumanski made 20 starts as a sophomore, collecting a pair of shots. The shutdown wing defender was a big aid to sophomore keeper John Gioeli, who earned his first all-star citation. Gioeli finished with a 10-8-1 record, making 75 saves with 1.69 goals against average and a .708 save percentage.
Top honors in the conference went to Lehman College’s Essosa Aluyi, who earned Player of the Year, while Rookie of the Year was awarded to York College’s Diron Duah.
CSI’s season officially closed with a 2-0 loss to Baruch College in the CUNYAC semifinals, however, the team is still in contention for an ECAC Postseason berth. Those selections will be announced on Monday, November 10.