The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team’s winless streak hit three games, as they were downed by New Jersey City University by a 1-0 count in non-conference play in Jersey City this afternoon. The loss dipped the Dolphins to 3-2-1 this season after a 3-0 start, while the Gothic Knights improved to 7-0, their finest start in program history.
From the get-go the Dolphins were frustrated inside the final third of the field, finding it difficult to get consistent scoring chances against a stout Knights back line. Both teams clamped down defensively, and it wasn’t until the 21st minute of the game when either team was able to put a shot on frame. When that happened, CSI keeper Jake Foeldes would handle an Omar Ventura attempt, punching it over the bar.
That did invigorate the Knights however, who earned a corner in CSI’s end, and then in the 23rd minute capitalized when Theo Sanoh rocketed a shot in the high corner past Foeldes on a feeder from Jose Salazar. From there, it was all about the NJCU defense, not allowing CSI in their end for much, and the Dolphins would only get off one more shot going into halftime which would sail well wide of netminder Adam Cassidy.
In the second half, CSI needed to start rolling the dice to generate offense and they were successful. The amped up offense did lead to strong NJCU counters, but in the end, neither team could register. The Dolphins got a nice start, but Dardan Nika would miss high on a shot in the first minute of the stanza. Cassidy would make his first save in the 58th minute on another attempt by Nika.
In the 81st minute, NJCU nearly doubled their lead on a powerful free kick from Davauni Brown, but Foeldes would save the goal with a sprawling cross-body save. Forced to press, Youssef Aly put a sterling cross in the NJCU box with less than five minutes to play that CSI attackers could not connect with, and CSI leading scorer Marcin Klim misfired on a header with just two ticks remaining to preserve the shutout win for the Gothic Knights.
The win by NJCU broke a CSI two-game win streak in the all-time series, and CSI slipped to 2-11-1 all-time on the road against their out-of-conference rivals.
The Dolphins will now brace for the CUNYAC opener this weekend, a home date with CCNY at 12 Noon on Saturday, a rematch of last year’s CUNYAC Championship.