After a Series of Non-Conference Matches, the Dolphins Find Themselves in Unfamiliar Territory.
By Michael Papandrea
It has been a slow start to the season for the Women’s soccer team, who are 0-2-1 to start the year. The schedule hasn’t been easy on them, but that could change soon when they start facing conference teams that they ran through last season.
Coach John Guagliardo made the schedule himself with the thought of winning in mind. The record may not show it early on in the season, but if his strategy works, it could result in a CUNYAC Championship title, which CSI lost to Brooklyn last season.
“It’s the toughest schedule we’ve seen in my 11 years,” said Guagliardo. “The idea is to play a tough out of conference schedule so when we go into conference I don’t want to just beat teams, I want to annihilate them.”
Annihilating teams may not be as easy as planned. Last season, Demi-Jean Martorano was their leading scorer, and it seems like they have missed her early on. Their lone offensive threat this season, Samantha Wysokowski, suffered a knee injury in the last game against Rutgers Newark. She may be ready to come back soon, but it is unclear who will step up on offense.
Through the first three games, Wysokowski has scored three goals. She is the only Dolphin who has scored this season which is alarming considering the Dolphins were an offensive machine just one season ago.
In the first game of the season, Wysokowski totaled 7 shots with three of them on goal. The rest of the team had two shots with none being on goal. In the most recent game against Rutgers Newark, Wysokowski had 3 shots with one of them being a goal before she left with an injury. The team mustered up 4 shots for the rest of the game.
With the team becoming one dimensional on offense, it could force opposing defenses to key on Wysokowski. This would give other players an opportunity. Players like Danielle Alexandrini and Jennifer Cosenza have shown potential as the next scoring options on the team. Melissa Gelardi is a Senior Midfielder and the all-time assists leader for CSI. Having her could make the transition to finding other scoring options easier.
On the defensive side, Coach has said that he wants to be able to shut opponents down, which is something they didn’t do last season. The defense has been tested early on, and their most impressive game was against New Jersey City University. They were able to hold NJCU to 12 shots in a game that went into double overtime.
Senior goalie Victoria Donegan has been impressive to start the year with 13 saves. The backup goalie, Junior Kristy Colangelo has also made some highlights of her own with 12 saves. Coach Guagliardo has given Colangelo a lot of playing time, with just 10 less minutes than Donegan.
Colangelo was not on the roster last season but she has already established her presence on this team. It seems like Guagliardo wants to give her a lot of minutes to prepare for next season where she will likely take over as starting goalie.
The Dolphin’s schedule will get easier when they take on conference teams such as Medgar Evers, Lehman, and York College. CSI has fared well against those teams in the past, but with the way they have played this season, it will be interesting to see if they can go back to their dominant ways.