Staten Island, NY | Samantha LaValle scored a hat-trick, giving her four goals in three games, as the Dolphins defeated Keystone, 6-0 at the CSI Soccer Complex. The win improved the Dolphins’ record to 1-2 while the Giants fell to 0-2 on the year.
The Dolphins stepped on their home pitch for the first time this season to take on Keystone College in a non-conference bout. The Dolphins and Giants had only played once in their history with the Dolphins beating the Giants, 3-1. In perfect weather conditions for a soccer game, Staten Island looked to bounce back from their 0-2 start and impress in front of their home crowd.
Samantha LaValle brought that idea to life, just eight minutes into the contest when Natalia Sandor won the ball in the center of the pitch and slotted a pass through the center backs onto LaValle’s foot. LaValle found herself one-on-one with Rebekah Shepherd and was able to square her body and curl it into the lower right corner for her first of the game and second of the season. Staten Island kept the pressure on, not allowing the Giants any breathing room, deflating anything attacking build up they tried to create.
Just one minute later LaValle would strike again. This time LaValle would lurk by the back post as Lauren Smith came down the left flank and crossed the ball in. The cross was just high enough to be out of reach of Shepherd and found LaValle’s head at the back post to give CSI a 2-0 lead over Keystone.
After scoring a pair in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Dolphins wouldn’t capitalize again until the 19th minute. Nermina Bracic used her pace along the right flank, tiring out the left back of the Giants and she finally got her opportunity. Rebecca D’Aloia dribbled into the box and sent in a low driven cross to the middle of the goal which found Bracic who was able to beat her defender to the ball for a tap-in goal.
LaValle, already had a brace on the day, got her hat-trick in the 32nd minute. Adrianna Parello stepped over the free kick from 35 yards out and curled one to LaValle at the top of the box. LaValle was able to corral the ball and blast it past Shepherd to increase the Dolphins’ lead to 4-0. The Dolphins continued to dominate the game, controlling possession and limiting the Giants’ offensive opportunities. Nisa Cortes looked to be on a breakaway, however, Catherine Mulligan was able to track back and win the tackle to prevent a goal scoring opportunity.
Once again, the Dolphins would score back-to-back goals in a three-minute span. This time Nicole Mignone was the beneficiary of a Parello pass. Mignone had just entered the game mere seconds before receiving the ball from Parello as she turned that pass into her first goal of the season. Having already collected an assist on the day, Smith won the ball in the middle and made a nice turn and took on three defenders en route to a breakaway attempt. Smith was redirected therefore sending her shot just wide of the net.
Smith once against won the ball in the middle of the pitch and went on another run down, beating several defenders and this time made sure she hit the back of the net for the first time this season.
Staten Island held a large margin of victory in the shot category, posting 26 to just three for the Giants. The spread was much smaller when it came to corner kicks with the Dolphins tallying four to the Giants’ three. Kailia DiBenedetto and company secured their first shutout of the season, having to make just two saves.
The Dolphins return to action on September 12 at the CSI Soccer Complex where they will play host to Ramapo College at 3:30 pm.
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