The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team celebrated Senior Day today at the CSI Soccer Complex, and capped it with a resonating, 3-=0, win over visiting Bard College as part of non-conference play this afternoon. The win lifted the Dolphins to 8-4-1 overall, while Bard fell to 5-4-3. Prior to the game the Dolphins honored a total of 9 seniors: Rustam Djumayev, Mohamed Ndao, Ilir Papraniku, Ruben Diaz, Nermin Kurtesi, Antonio Lynch, Marcin Klim, Peter Hanna, and Jacob Szumanski.
Against a heavy rain for much of the contest both teams fought for territorial advantages and play swung in both directions for minutes at a time. The game was physical at times but the game stayed clean as both teams tightened in their final third. CSI had more early chances, gaining a couple of corner kicks as well, but it wasn’t until the 19th minute that they would score the eventual game-winner. There, Ali Fares found an open Adrian Cosovic, who busted loose on a breakaway and curled a bending ball around BC keeper Taylor Bond to give CSI the 1-0 lead. For Cosovic it marked his third-straight game with a goal and his seventh of the season.
From there, CSI was all about shoring up its back line and not letting Bard in with good chances on senior keeper Antonio Lynch. The senior would stop an Austin Higgins shot in the 25th minute and that was all, as Bard’s next three shots all sailed wide and out of danger, keeping the CSI lead 1-0 lead intact until the halftime break.
The Raptors tried to amp up the offensive attack in the second frame and Nick Shenberger tested Lynch early with a shot five minutes into the stanza that was turned aside. CSI would fail to register a shot in the half until the 58th minute but it paid off handsomely. Fares had his rip blocked out past the goal line giving the Dolphins a corner and Fares took it at the flag and launched a ball into the box that found the waiting boot of Dardan Nika, who blasted it home to give CSI a commanding, 2-0 edge.
With Bard pushing for an equalizer, CSI continued to tighten up in the back, and the Raptors were held to just one more shot in the half in the game’s 74th minute by John Flynn who sent one well high of goal from near the top of the box.
With time winding down, CSI was spilled from just outside their box, and getting a free kick off of the ground was Nermin Kurtesi, who bent the ball into the top near side corner past an outstretched Bond to give CSI the 3-0 lead with just 17 seconds left.
The win for the Dolphins was their second-straight and CSI improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. They finished with a 16-7 edge in shots (5-3 on goal) with a modest 5-4 edge in corners. Lynch made three saves for the Dolphins in what was his first solo shutout of the season and the second in his career. Nika led all players with four total shots.
Up next for the Dolphins is a home date against Stevens Institute on Wednesday, October 12, at 4:00pm at the CSI Soccer Complex.