CAMDEN, NJ | The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team fell for the first time this season, turned back by Rutgers – Camden as part of their Cailella Classic this afternoon.  Despite dictating play for long stretches of the contest, the Dolphins fell to 2-1 overall this season while the Scarlet Raptors lifted to 3-0-1 overall.  The Classic continues tomorrow on the RU-Camden campus.

It was a tale of two halves today in Camden, and in the opening stage, CSI dominated play almost from start to finish, controlling the ball for long stretches of time and littering the Camden end with quality chances.  The great play, however, could not muster up a result, and CSI was on the wrong side of a 1-0 score at the end of the first 45.

Macki Dougoune registered CSI’s first shot of the game just over three minutes in, forcing James Brett to make one of eight saves in the game’s first half.  CSI’s Carlos Montesinos almost had a chance to register in the 13th minute, but a gorgeous parry by Brett kept things even.  Seconds later, Dougoune skipped another on goal off of a corner forcing Brett to make another stop falling to his knees.

After weathering the storm, RU-Camden got a break it needed, disrupting the waves of CSI attacks.  Zach Fox sent a lead pass up the pitch to Skyler Diggs.  CSI keeper Christian Carucci came way out of goal to intercept the ball but Diggs skipped past and placed the ball into the open frame to give the Raptors the 1-0 edge at 15:19.

Despite the disappointment CSI continued the assault and Brett was up to the task, robbing Joe Bolella on a play in front of goal and then another by Philip Lefkowitz and Dougoune.  In the 42nd minute, Brett made another gem, robbing Bryant Navarro, keeping RU-Camden up 1-0 by intermission.

CSI out-shot the Raptors, 11-3, in the first half, and it was clear RU had plans to change things in the second half, employing a much better defensive showing.  Real estate became constricted for the Dolphins and that chances would be few and far between.

Meanwhile, the Raptors used their counter to lay claim to a 2-0 lead just five minutes into the second half.  Patrick Grudnick turned on a Chris Taraska pass, burying one into the left side for the goal.

The Dolphins were finally able to register their first second-half shot in the 62nd minute, as a Chris Vendra shot ailed wide, but CSI finally got on the board two minutes later, as Lefkowitz found Bolella on a cross that the sophomore was able to slide in to make it 2-1 with 26 minutes to play.

Pressing for an equalizer, CSI would not get close, as RU numbers poured into the final third and CSI’s legs became weary.  In the 79th minute, the Raptors seemed to put the game out of reach when Kaito Kitazawa was able to shoot one in off of a Diggs cross near the left post, making it 3-1 with just over 10 minutes to play.  Despite pressing, CSI could not muster a shot the rest of the way, and the final score would hold.

Despite being out-shot, 6-2, in the second half, CSI still held the overall shot lead after 90 minutes, 13-9 (9-5 on goal).  Brett remained the hero, making the eight saves for the win.

Earlier in the Cailella Classic, Emory University defeated Rowan University, 1-0.  CSI will play Rowan tomorrow afternoon at 4:30pm, while Camden will face off against Emory at 2pm.