The College of Staten Island men’s soccer program took on the Bulldogs from Brooklyn College on a brisk afternoon at the CSI Soccer Complex for a CUNYAC Quarterfinal clash. CSI earned the #4 seed in the tournament while the Bulldogs came in as the #5 seed. After the game was tied 1-1 early in the half the Dolphins would take control of the game and go on to win 3-1 to improve to 11-6-2 and advance to the CUNYAC Semifinal round where they will take on top seeded Lehman College on Saturday.
Mike Arellanes earned the Man of the Match award for his outstanding play out on the pitch all afternoon. Arellanes tallied just one assist but constantly created chances for the Dolphins and kept the Bulldogs’ outside midfielders in check.
The Dolphins and Bulldogs came into today’s match as the two most physical teams within the CUNYAC and both teams lived up to that. Just three minutes into the game there was already five fouls on the board split 3-2 in favor of the Bulldogs. The Dolphins have outshot just about all of their opponents this season and today was no different. CSI opened the game outshooting the Bulldogs 5-0 with a pair of shots just missing their mark.
The Dolphins would get fouled just outside the 18 yard box which set up CSI for an opportunity to score. With the ball placed on the left side of the box, Ali Fares stepped over the ball and unleashed a low driven shot that found its way into the back of the to give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs just 16 minutes into the match.
Brooklyn College once again found themselves behind just like in the first meeting this season. The Bulldogs didn’t waste any time and were able to tie the match up 1-1 after Ruben Diaz tried to head the ball back to Jake Foeldes but it didn’t have enough power on it which allowed Jordy Ortiz to steal it and put it in the back of the net.
Staten Island hasn’t allowed many goals at home this season, so the defense took it personally and made sure to tighten up and not allow another quality chance on goal. The Dolphins would control the pace of the game, moving the ball back-and-forth until they were able to create an opportunity. CSI did just that, as they were able to spread out the back line of the Bulldogs which allowed Adrian Cosovic to play a low cross into the near post to Marcin Klim. Klim had his shot blocked at point blank range by Jerron Streete, however the rebound would fall right to Dardan Nika who would place the ball in the back of the net for the eventual game winner.
CSI would go into the half with a 2-1 lead. At the half the Dolphins held a 13-4 lead in shots while also hold a 3-0 lead in corner kicks.
The Dolphins came out of the break and kept their foot on the gas pedal. Once again holding a majority of the possession forced the Bulldog defender to get tired from chasing the ball. Arellanes continued to beat players down the line and send balls into the box and was finally rewarded in the 66th minute. Klim, who nearly scored earlier, scored his 10th of the season when he was able to get his head on the end of a cross from Arellanes and put it into the back of the net and give CSI a 3-1 lead.
The men nearly had three more goals but Streete was able to come up big and make breakaway saves against Arellanes and Bessler. Nermin Kurtesi put his shot just a bit too high as it skimmed the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
The Dolphins continue to show promise and will carry their three-game win streak into the CUNYAC Semifinal where they will take on top seeded Lehman College, a team they lost to 1-0 in the regular season, on Saturday at Brooklyn College.