For the first time in its history the College of Staten Island men’s soccer program held an Alumni Day to honor its many alumni, which featured a game against current Dolphins alongside a post-game luncheon. Over 30 alumni joined in the action, and scrimmaged against Head Coach John Tardy’s current crop of Dolphins. The teams played four 30-minute periods with a running clock and in the end the current Dolphins scored three goals in the final stanza to break a 3-3 tie to win, 6-4.
“I thought this was a very enjoyable day and it went really well,” said Tardy, who is entering his fifth season as Head Coach this season. “To get the Alumni’s feedback on how far they feel the program has come and to keep them connected with what we are doing was really rewarding. It shows we are moving in the right direction.”
Alumni participating in the event were coached by former assistant and head coach Marc D’Orazio (2001-04) and featured players spanning numerous decades. Included in the action was Angelo Valentino, a four year member of the squad from 1984-88, and all-time assists leader Vito Lasalandra, who graduated in 1992. A heavy contingent played for the Dolphins within the last 10 years, including recent graduates Horatio Reid and Daniel Raffo.
“It’s special to be a student-athlete, and that’s what all of these gentlemen share,” said Tardy. “Our Alumni have given us a great foundation and we want to show our respect to them the same way they continue to support us. It was nice for our current players to get a chance to play against them and know that the Alumni supports them by helping them get ready for the season.”
The Alumni did more than hold their own against the current Dolphins. The current squad scored first, but the Alumni knotted things up, 1-1, after the first period. Alumni advanced to a 2-1 lead before the current squad tied it again at the half, 2-2, and again both teams scored in the third period to make it 3-3. The current Dolphins scored three in a row to make it 6-3, before Alumni tallied last to finish at 6-4.
“I think a lot of our players took it for granted a bit that we were playing an Alumni team, and let their guards down a little bit,” Tardy said with a laugh. “But it’s a great lesson to our young team that they can’t let their guards down no matter who the opponent is or the occasion. It was a fun and exciting game and the real live work for our team was definitely a great test for us.”
CSI started its preseason last week and will continue until the team travels to take on Farmingdale State in its season opener on Thursday, September 1.
Visiting Alumni who joined the game were: Haider Abbas, Marwan Amer, Lirim Begai, Adam Birnbaum, Brandon Cadmen, Stephen Caifa, Vito Caladonato, Alfonso Castaneda, Giovanni Cortese,Alen Desevic, Marc D’Orazio, Asmir Dzemovski, Ahmed El-Ghareib, Joseph Fassari, Brian Fourman, Aziz Kabulniyazov, Dov Katz, Michele Kissi, Vito Lasalandra, Anh Le, John Liantonio, Michael Massa, Alberto Medina, Carlos Montesinos, Daniel Raffo, Aldair Ramirez, Horatio Reid, Anthony Rizzo, Peter Strachni, Drew Surmanek, Philip Szumanski, Daniel Tsygankov, and Angelo Valentino.