Brooklyn, NY | Samantha LaValle, who has been stellar all season, did it yet again. LaValle shined in the CUNYAC Semifinal, netting a hattrick to bring her season total up to 19, the highest mark in the CUNYAC by five goals. Staten Island cruised past Lehman College, 5-0, to advance to the CUNYAC Championship game on Saturday. 

The Dolphins and Lightning played earlier in the season which saw the Dolphins walk away with a sloppy 2-1 victory in the Bronx, NY. This afternoon, on a neutral turf field, the Dolphins were able to put their skill on display and pick apart the Lightning. It took just three minutes for the Dolphins to break through. Mirsade Pelinkovic cashed in on a cross by Lizbeth Aparicio to give the Dolphins an early lead.

With Lehman College on their heels, it didn’t take long for the Dolphins to double up on their lead.  LaValle picked up a deflection in the box and powered it into the back of the net to put Staten Island up 2-0. The Dolphins kept the pressure on by taking shots whenever they were open. Rebecca Gritz was forced to stay on her toes and make a couple of saves to prevent the Dolphins from taking a 3-0 lead.  Lehman’s defense was unable to handle LaValle as she picked up her second goal in the 27th minute. Adrianna Parello put in a beautiful curled corner kick, much like she has done all season and found LaValle in the box where she was able to head it home. 

The Dolphins went into the half with a 3-0 lead and complete control of the game.

Nermina Bracic picked up a straight red out of the half as did Emily Herrera putting both teams down to 10 players. 10 minutes later, LaValle completed the hat trick to give her team a 4-0 lead in the CUNYAC Semifinal. Dimitra Tountas came on to replace LaValle in the 71st minute and picked up right where LaValle left off. Four minutes after coming onto the pitch, Tountas found herself wide open in front of net and received a pass from Rebecca D’Aloia.  Tountas was able to tap it past Gritz for the fifth goal of the game.

Parello tried to get in on the action but saw her attempt bounce off of the crossbar and away from danger. 

The Dolphins showed why they were the number one seed coming into the CUNYAC Playoffs and will play for their fourth-straight CUNYAC Championship on Saturday.