A pair of goals by Skyler Diggs was the difference, as Rutgers-Camden skated by the College of Staten Island in men’s soccer today by a 2-0 margin in what was the official season opener for the Dolphins. CSI will start their campaign at 0-1, while the Scarlet Raptors continue their torrid start to the season, extending to 4-0 overall.
The Dolphins opened their season a week ago with an exhibition tie against Ramapo, and in this, their first countable game, the Dolphins could not muster a goal in a game that stayed relatively even statistically, with both units controlling play in spurts.
CSI seemed to have the brighter chances early, but an early shot by Carlos Montesinos sailed high in the eighth minute, followed by two more put wide by Philip Lefkowitz to avoid threats. The Raptors took advantage. After registering only a single shot attempt through the first 13 minutes, A great long feeder by Darnell Brown found an open Chris Taraska, who threaded a pass inside the box to Diggs, who popped in his third of the season past CSI keeper Jake Foeldes to give Camden the 1-0 edge at exactly 13:00.
CSI got their first official shot on goal in the 24th minute, but RU keeper Kyler White was able to get on top of a Lefkowitz shot to keep the advantage. From there, the RU defense tightened considerably, and CSI was only able to muster one other shot, in the 39th minute, another stop by White on a Mohammedou Sow attempt.
From there, it became evident that CSI would have to press in order to equalize and the RU defense stayed firm. Just over seven minutes into the frame, the Raptors attack caught CSI off-guard, when a Patrick Grudnick pass found an open Diggs who raced in from the side and put in a tough-angled shot into the net to double the lead at the 57:27 mark.
CSI tried in vain for opportunities, but the goal would not come. Bryant Navarro had the closest chance, launching a shot that rocked off of the crossbar at 69:55. CSI’s crossbar returned the favor later on a Joni Gjyleri attempt in the 73rd minute, and CSI was saved again when Christian Ognibene put one off the post on a header attempt.
From there, the shots were few and far between as RU closed the door defensively in what held as 2-0 win.
RU led the final shots count, 14-10 (8-2 on goal), also holding a modest, 5-3 advantage in corner kicks. Foeldes made six saves in defeat, while White earned the shutout on two first-half saves.
Both teams will be right back to action tomorrow on RU’s campus. The Dolphins will face Rowan University at 2 pm, while RU will face SUNY-Cortland at 4:30 pm.