The College of Staten Island men’s soccer squad took their five-game win streak to Pennsylvania today against Valley Forge College, and after falling behind early, the Dolphins kept the streak intact thanks to a 5-1 road win. With the victory, the Dolphins moved to 6-1 while the Patriots fell to 0-8.
Although on paper the Dolphins seemed to come in with the decided advantage, looking to converge on a team that had dropped its last 10 games dating back to last season, it was the Patriots that made a tremendous first impression. Just three minutes into the game, the home side won a pair of corner kicks, and on the second, Billy Peron bent a ball directly into the goal passed CSI keeper Balint Barabas, to stake VFC to a 1-0 lead.
CSI needed a boost, but it wasn’t until the 9th minute until they uncorked their first shot, a bender by Alex Sosa that forced a Bryan Ardon save. It did, however, mark a turning point of the game, as CSI quickly seized momentum and the offense started to build. After UVF tallied a shot in the 16th minute, CSI started to rush again. At 18:31, their hustle was rewarded when a Bryant Navarro pass found an open Joe Bolella, who blasted in a shot for his fourth goal of the season, knotting the score. With CSI still pressing, five minutes later Bolella returned the favor, and moved a ball that found Navarro, and this time he beat a stretched Ardon via a header to give CSI a 2-1 lead at 23:45. For Navarro it was his team-leading fifth-marker, and his third straight game with a tally.
Now up, CSI began to attack more via the counter as UVF was forced to put in offensive numbers at the front of the field. With that, CSI used substitutions, and it worked to perfection. In the 32nd minute, Logan Tassin came on in relief of Navarro, and with fresh legs, Tassin beat the defense on a corner kick attempt by Joel Morales, and punched in a goal to stake CSI to a more comfortable, 3-1, lead, just 11 minutes from halftime. After picking up the assist, Morales then got a goal of his own, the first of his career, in the 38th minute. At the break, CSI went into intermission up 4-1 with a 14-2 edge in shots, seemingly in full control.
Up by a trio going into the second half, the Dolphins inserted a heavy reserve-rotation for the second half. With the added personnel, CSI continued to be offensive, posting 9 more shots through the first 30 minutes of the second frame. Ardon would make four more saves including two on back-to-back shots by Chris Li and Xavier Castro. The Dolphins were finally able to crack the register in the second half on a late tally by Tassin, his second of the game with just 26 seconds remaining.
This was the first meeting between the two sides and the six-game winning streak by the Dolphins is now their longest under Head Coach John Tardy and their longest since 2003, when they reeled off eight-straight. CSI finished with a 32-3 edge in shots (12-1 on goal) and an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Up next for CSI will be a date with York College on Wednesday in a game to be played at Aviator Field at 6:30pm as part of CUNYAC play.