The College of Staten Island men’s soccer team had a banner year, and it culminated with a total of 10 All-Star citations from the City University of New York Athletic Conference, including a clean sweep of the major award categories. Junior Philip Lefkowitz headlined all Dolphins by winning CUNYAC Player of the Year honors, while freshman Macki Dougoune was named Rookie of the Year. Head Coach John Tardy took Coach of the Year honors as well. To go with the headliners, CSI’s Bryant Navarro, Joe Bolella, Ryan Layman and Miguel Morales all were named to the CUNYAC’s first team of all-stars, while Chris Vendra and Christian Carucci were a part of the second team. Carlos Montesinos was also highlighted as a member of the conference’s All-Sportsmanship Team.
Capping a career year, junior Philip Lefkowitz was among the nation’s leaders in goal scoring and assists, finishing with 12 markers and 16 helpers this season. He finished tops on the unit with 91 shots, a CSI single-season record, and he posted three game-winning goals. The 16 assists tied him for second overall in the nation and was the conference’s leader. It was also CSI’s second-highest assist total in history. For his career, Lefkowitz has tallied 20 goals and 23 assists, one shy of the CSI career assist record.
Dougoune has enjoyed a tremendous initial year for the Dolphins, starting in 18 of the team’s 20 games. Dougoune has posted a pair of goals and four helpers on 44 total shots, but his play has been defined by his ability to control the center of the attacking midfield. The big play ability and experience in year one will certainly be a welcomed addition next year and in year’s to come for the young star, who will undoubtedly see an increase in production with time.
The Coach of the Year laurel for Tardy seemed like slam dunk this season. Despite coming up just shy of a postseason championship, the Dolphins ripped through conference play this season undefeated in both regular and postseason play. The Dolphins went 8-0 during the CUNYAC regular season, outscoring opponents 44-1 in the process. CSI was then able to take an overtime win over John Jay in the CUNYAC Semifinals before tying Baruch in the Final in a game that would ultimately be decided by penalty kicks. CSI’s 15 wins recorded this season marked a school record and Tardy became the school’s all-time wins leader in men’s soccer, improving his personal mark to 77-59-10.
If Lefkowitz did not win the Player of the Year vote, then most likely Bryant Navarro would have locked it in. The sophomore had a fantastic campaign, leading the Dolphins with 20 goals, the most by a Dolphins player since 1998 and the 7th-highest total in Division III. Navarro accomplished the feat in just 67 total shots, and recorded three of CSI’s four postseason goals, including an overtime game-winner against John Jay, his fourth game-winner of the season. Navarro added four assists, leading CSI with 44 total points. His 26 total goals in his career now ranks 8th all-time after just two seasons.
Fellow sophomore Joe Bolella completes CSI’s three-headed scoring outfit, as he poured in 14 goals to go with five assists this season, after a terrific freshman campaign that saw him share the team goal-scoring lead with Navarro. Bolella posted a game-winner and registered 53 total shots, good for third on the team. Bolella was also one of just two players to play in every game this season.
Defenders Ryan Layman and Miguel Morales had exceptional years on the back line. Layman appeared in 18 games while Morales appeared in 17, plugging up the middle of the defensive line that allowed just 20 goals this season in 20 games, posting 10 shutouts while allowing only a single goal in conference (a penalty kick).
Chris Vendra, like Dougoune, certainly put his best foot forward in his first season in the midfield. A mainstay who played in 19 games, Vendra was able to post a pair of goals to go with a trio of assists, but his ability to quarterback play in the middle and get the offense started was certainly a catalyst throughout the year. Joining Vendra on the second team was first-year transfer Christian Carucci, who started 17 games between the pipes for the Dolphins. Carucci boasted an 11-3-1 record, posting six solo shutouts, allowing a 1.07 goals against average with a .707 save percentage.
Rounding out the honorees was Montesinos, who played in all but one game as a freshman this season for CSI. Montesinos accumulated no cards this season, a testament to his clean and efficient game play despite his penchant as a physical player. On the pitch he was strong, registering six goals and four assists on just 43 shots.