The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team celebrated their first entry into the ECAC Tournament since 2012 with an opening round win, turning back host and top-seeded Ramapo College, 1-0, in Mahwah, NJ. The Dolphins will now face William Paterson University tomorrow at Noon for the Region 3 Championship game at 12 Noon. CSI advanced to 12-7-2 overall while the Roadrunners finalized at 10-5-3.
For the two teams it marked their first meeting in 13 years to the day, ironically also in the ECAC Metro Tournament, a 1-0 win by Ramapo. CSI got even this time around and it was thanks to a penalty kick knocked home by sophomore Ali Fares in the 13th minute.
Before that point, both teams played relatively evenly with Ramapo earning two of the game’s first three shots. Just before the 13-minute mark, the Ramapo defense spilled Fares in the defensive box, much to the chagrin of the Ramapo faithful and staff. Fares took control of the ensuing shot and laced a shot to the side past RC keeper Ryan Sprague to spot CSI the 1-0 lead.
The game promised to be defensive from the start, and the remaining 77 minutes held true. The Dolphins controlled play but offsides was their nemesis as they were whistled for six offsides calls for the rest of the half, five of which occurred 10 minutes after Ali’s goal. The Dolphins almost made it 2-0 in the 28th minute when Vasyl Fedortsi bounced one off of the crossbar. Ramapo only got two shots through to CSI’s goal, but Jake Foeldes parried both to keep the lead intact.
From there, CSI’s goal was the keep RC off of the register and they did not allow a shot on net until there were just 17 minutes to play. Foeldes would make the save and then put away a Bayley Young attempt 10 minutes later, his final save of the game to preserve the clean sheet.
In the 87th minute, CSI was forced to play a man down when Youssef Aly was tagged his second yellow card, but Ramapo could only get off a wide shot in 88th minute, their final attempt of the game.
Ramapo led the final shot count, 11-8 (5-4 on goal). CSI held a 5-4 advantage in corners.
In their Region 3 Semifinal, William Paterson defeated Moravian College on penalty kicks (3-1) after a 0-0 tie. That means CSI will face off against WPU at 12 Noon tomorrow at Ramapo.
The win by CSI improves them to 2-5-1 all-time in ECAC Postseason play.