Camden, NJ | The College of Staten Island bounced back after a tough loss yesterday, to score their first win of the season, their first win as a NCAA Division II provisional program, and their first program win over Rowan University in five tries, clipping the Profs, 2-1, in the second day of play of the Ciaiella Kickoff Classic hosted by Rutgers University of Camden. CSI finished the weekend 1-1 overall and handed the Profs their first loss of the season, as they dipped to 3-1.
In what amounted to another statistically-even affair in the first half, CSI started out on the attack early, but couldn’t find the net, while the Profs had the same frustration, coming deep into the CSI zone but failing to put one on frame. It wasn’t until the 20th minute until either team was able to put a shot on net, and given the opportunity, CSI senior Philip Lefkowiitz made it count, launching a long shot from the left of goal to beat RU keeper James Weinberg for the opening tally of the game, coming officially at 19:24.
Armed with their first lead of the season, CSI did not disappoint defensively. Despite some feverish rushes up the pitch, CSI was able to shake off the Rowan attack, and then capitalized again seven minutes later. After Weinberg made a pair of saves, Daniel Angulo sent a cross into the box that found Christian Puccio. Puccio slammed a shot on goal that was parried by Weinberg, but he would get to his own rebound, heading the ball in to double CSI’s lead to 2-0 on his first goal in a Dolphins uniform.
The Dolphins were riding high, maybe too high, as just three minutes later, a frenzied Rowan team came down the pitch. On a cross into the box, Carucci blocked the ball, but it squirted free behind him and Wilby Alfred was there to pick up the slack, punching it in to cut the lead back down to 2-1 at 29:46.
From there, both teams tightened defensively, allowing just one shot over the final 16 minutes of the first half, neither on goal, to send the game into halftime at 2-1.
CSI’s mission in the second half was to keep RU off of the scoreboard and they delivered. Carucci made his first save of the half 10 minutes in on a shot by Michael Ferrera, and he would stop Chad Yates moments later in the 60th minute of play. The Profs kept coming, and would not relent, but Carucci shined from there, making five saves in the final 20 minutes to seal the game, the last coming on a shot from Alfred with just 17 seconds left.
For CSI, the win marked the first-ever in their history against Rowan. Coming into the contest, Rowan had taken the previous four meetings by a combined score of 13-3.
Rowan led the final shot count, 16-8 (9-6 on goal), as Carucci earned the win with eight saves. Rowan also led in corners, 6-4. A total of five Dolphins were booked with cards in this game. yellows were assessed to Carlos Montesinos, Alexis Moran Navarro, and Puccio, while Carucci, and Wilson Quintero were red-carded at the end of the game along with Mohamed Elgayar and Mickenna Church from Rowan.
CSI will be back in action on Wednesday, September 11, when they host Concordia College in their home opener at 4 pm.