The College of Staten Island defeated CCNY 2-1 in the CUNYAC Semifinal game at the CSI Soccer Complex to earn a trip to the CUNYAC Championship game on Saturday. The Dolphins improved to 12-5-1 with the win.
Staten Island controlled the pace of the game and kept the pressure on the Beavers’ defense. Natalia Sandor nearly put the Dolphins up 1-0 just three minutes in the game. Sandor would receive the ball with her back to the goal and attempt a cheeky heel shot towards goal, however, she would see her attempt go wide left. The constant waves of attacks from the Dolphins finally hit pay dirt when Victoria Sanchez flew down the right flank uncontested and hit a low hard shot to the far post for the first goal of the game. Sanchez’s goal was her fourth of the season as she has trademarked the sprints down the sideline and into the box.
The Beavers who were able to draw the Dolphins 2-2 during the regular season struggled to generate any offense in the first half. City College of NY was able to fire off only one shot which forced Kaila DiBenedetto to make a save. CSI almost doubled their lead when Lauren Smith rifled a shot off of the crossbar which would fall to the foot of Sandor. Sandor quickly struck the ball but Catherine Langkamp was in great position to make the save to keep the Dolphins from doubling up.
The defense for the Beavers would break down towards the end of the first stanza which allowed Keonjah Nugent to net her third of the season. Nugent would receive a through ball from Daniela Zirpolo and cannon a shot over Langkamp’s head and into the back of the net. The Dolphins would post a 9-1 advantage in shots in the first half with two of them finding the back of the net.
Sandor started the second half much like she did the first, with a great scoring opportunity. Sandor received a pass to the back post but once again Langkamp was in great position to make the save. Sanchez craved a second goal in this afternoon’s contest as she created chance after chance however it was Langkamp that kept coming up victorious. Langkamp continued to keep the Beavers in the game as she denied several one-one-one opportunities. Nicole Mignone, the Dolphins’ leading scorer, had a breakaway chance stonewalled by Langkamp with 20 minutes remaining in the game.
CCNY was able to bring it within one in the 75th minute when Gabrielle Duchaussee scored her 15th goal of the season.
Duchaussee got free in the box and Agudelo found her with a threaded pass. Duchaussee chipped it over DiBenedetto’s head and off of the crossbar into the goal. Duchaussee’s goal marks just the third CUNYAC goal the Dolphins have allowed this season, all of which were scored by CCNY. When the game fell below the five-minute mark, the Beavers pushed more players forward, in search of the game-tying goal. The Dolphins continued to play their game and didn’t drop any in response to the extra attacking players.
With two minutes left on the clock, Langkamp came up to take a free kick and placed a perfect ball onto the head of Caceres. Caceres put it towards goal, but DiBenedetto made a game-saving save to help the Dolphins punch their ticket to the CUNYAC Championship game.
When asked how it feels to go to the championship game for the third straight year Head Coach Giuseppe Pennetti said “It’s an honor and a privilege, it’s not easy to make it to the championship three years in a row. The girls stuck to the game plan which enabled us to win today’s game against a quality opponent.”
The Dolphins will return to the field on Saturday, November 1 against No. 3 seeded Lehman College at 11:30 am at the CSI Soccer Complex.