The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team clashed against the No. 1 seeded Lehman Lightning this afternoon in the CUNYAC Semifinals in the Bronx, NY. This was the second meeting this season with the Lightning taking the first meeting 1-0 at the CSI Soccer Complex. The Lightning were able to overcome the Dolphins to earn a 3-2 win and a trip to the CUNYAC Championship game. Staten Island’s season comes to a close with a 10-7-2 overall record.
Staten Island would see themselves fall behind 1-0 early in the contest after the CUNYAC’s golden boot winner, Salh Alzubidi, was able to find the back of the net just 14 minutes into the game. Alzubidi retrieved a pass inside the box and was able to tuck it underneath Balint Barabas. The Dolphins struggle to create any offense as the Lightning controlled the pace of the game and were able to double their lead just 10 minutes later.
Essosa Aluyi, the assister from the first goal, was able to get loose in the box and bury a shot past Barabas. The Lightning nearly took a 3-0 lead over the Dolphins, however, Barabas was able to save the penalty kick attempt to keep the Lightning at two. The Dolphins seemed to be losing control of the game, however, with the insertion of freshman sensation Joe Bolella they were able to find their way onto the scoreboard. 11 minutes after being subbed on, Bolella cut the lead down to just one when he raised above the defenders and headed one home for his sixth goal of the year. Logan Tassin was the player that delivered the cross in which allowed Bolella to get a head on it.
Before the end of the first half, the Dolphins started to gain momentum that would carry over into the second half. 12 minutes into the second half, Lehman would commit a foul inside their own 18-yard box and Joel Morales would be called upon to take the kick from the spot. Morales would make no mistake and blast it home to knot the game up at two. After the game was tied, it started to become extremely physical. Another trend after the game-tying goal was scored, was that neither team was able to record a shot until Alzubidi netted the game-winning goal with six minutes remaining.
The Dolphins pushed everyone forward with just six minutes remaining, searching for that game-tying goal once again, unfortunately, time was not in their favor and the Lightning would walk away victorious yet again.
Staten Island’s season fell short of their goal this season but they will look ahead to next season and continue to improve around a solid young group.