The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team will officially head into the postseason on a winning streak, taking a 2-1 win over Arcadia University in their regular season finale today in Glenside, PA. The win lifted the Dolphins to 10-6-2 overall, while Arcadia fell to 9-5-2.
Statistically, it was an even matchup the entire way and play dictated as such as well. Both teams fought hard for good chances and Arcadia got a good one right away off of a set piece via corner that was turned away by CSI starting keeper Antonio Lynch. The Dolphins peppered the Knights goal with a trio of shots that failed to hit their target, not testing AU keeper Chris Watson.
That was, however, until the game’s 18th minute, when a foul in the box against Watson led to a penalty kick. The Dolphins were 0-1 from the dot this season but this time sophomore Ali Fares came in to take the shot and he buried the goal at 18:57 to give CSI a huge 1-0 lead on their first shot on goal of the game. The goal seemed to stun the Knights, because with momentum CSI was able to snag the ball away on the ensuing AU possession and eventually the ball would find Dardan Nika in the goal box, who ripped a shot from 10 yards out into the near right side to give CSI a 2-0 lead just 28 seconds later. It was the quickest span of goals scored by CSI this season.
From there, CSI continued to stay sharp, and the team nearly went up by three when Mohamed Ndao’s shot rocked off of the crossbar in the 24th minute. Meanwhile, CSI clamped down defensively and held AU to just a single shot on goal from there in the first 45 to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
AU needed offense and so they came out attacking in the second frame. After trading two shots on goal apiece, AU found the shot they wanted when a Ryan Hammer cross found the head of Bradley McKim, who placed in his 10th goal of the year past Lynch to make it 2-1 in the 65th minute.
From there, CSI focused all efforts on protecting the lead and it worked like a charm. The back line was rock-solid and in the final 25 minutes, CSI would surrender just five shots, three of which were blocked down by defenders, while the other two sent harmlessly high and out of play. The 2-1 lead would stand and help CSI finish their season on a two-game win streak.
Arcadia held the final edge in shots, 14-10 (6-5 on goal), and held a 6-3 edge in corners. Antonio Lynch made five saves in the win while Watson made three stops for AU. Ndao led all CSI players with three shots. Youseff Aly picked up CSI’s only booking, a yellow card in the 64th minute.
The Dolphins will now be idle until they introduce quarterfinal round play of the CUNYAC Postseason Tournament. The No. 4 seeded Dolphins will host No. 5 Brooklyn on Wednesday, October 26. Start time is yet to be determined.