The College of Staten Island women’s soccer team introduced their 2017 campaign with a victory, posting two second half goals to defeat Keystone College on the road in La Plume, PA, 3-1.  The Dolphins, idle until Tuesday, moved to 1-0 on the young season while the Pioneers open at 0-1.

The Dolphins started with plenty of momentum, peppering the Keystone goal with the game’s first five shots.  Keystone keeper Sarah Heintz made a pair of saves in the seventh minute on Stephanie LaPointe and Victoria Sanchez, keeping the game scoreless in the opening 10 minutes.  CSI freshman keeper Kaila DiBenedetto made a pair of saves including one on Hannah Richter in the 15th minute that saw a rebound sail high off the leg of Faith Shiffer.  The Dolphins then grabbed possession back and Sanchez drove a shot wide in the 18th minute before CSI was able to break the tie.  At 19:25. LaPointe threaded a ball through the middle that found a streaking Sanchez, who this time buried a shot to the far post that got the Dolphins ahead, 1-0.

Play tempered from there, and the teams managed only a trio of shots between them for the first half’s final 25 minutes, two of them blocked and a Kaitlin Russo screamer sailing high in the 23rd.  At the half, CSI held their one-goal lead.

Whatever was said at halftime, it worked to Keystone’s advantage, as the Pioneers began the second half on their home field on a tear.  After gaining the offensive zone, Nisa Cortese sent a liner from close range on goal that was parried by DiBenedetto, but the rebound went right to the waiting foot of Jenna Moranski, who stuffed the ball home to knot the score just 1:35 into the second stanza.

CSI was able to regroup nicely, and successfully started to mount their attack again, getting good looks on goal, forcing Heintz to make three stops over the next 17 minutes.  In the 63rd, however, CSI would hit paydirt.  A foul on the Pioneers from 25 yards out gave junior Adrianna Parello a direct free kick, and she took her time and nailed a rocket into the upper-90 to put CSI back up, 2-1, at 63:42.

Keystone pushed for an equalizer, but a stout CSI back line surrendered only a single Keystone shot the rest of the game, with DiBenedetto coming up aces on a shot by Shiffer in the 71st minute.  The Dolphins did not push heavy numbers up front often, but on the counterattack late in the game the Dolphins advanced the lead to 3-1 when freshman Brittany Bornstead got to a loose ball via a corner kick and shot one into the far post with just 3:09 to play.  From there, the Dolphins held for the eventual win by the same score.

CSI outshot Keystone, 17-6 (11-5 on goal), and held a 6-1 edge in corners.  DiBenedetto made four saves in her collegiate debut in goal, while Heintz was valiant in defeat, making eight saves.  There were no bookings in the game.  This was the first meeting in the series between the two teams.

The Dolphins will now be idle for Labor Day weekend, resuming competition against New Jersey City University on Tuesday, September 5, at 3:30pm, at the CSI Soccer Complex in what will be their home opener.