Sports

Men’s and Women’s Soccer Playoff Preview

With Both Teams Dominating the Conference, Optimism Soars

By Michael Papandrea

If you look at their record on paper, you wouldn’t expect the CSI men’s soccer team to be the favorite heading into the CUNYAC Playoffs. But if you look at what they have done against teams in their conference, the tournament may be theirs for the taking.

The team has floated around .500 on the year, but that is a good thing considering their slow start. They faced six non-conference teams to start the year and lost every game. Then the Dolphins managed to win six of their next seven games, including shutouts to Brooklyn, Medgar Evers, Baruch, and Purchase college.

So what was the biggest difference between those first five games and the next seven? For starters, they simply played tougher schools; schools they won’t face in the CUNYAC tournament.

In the first five games, CSI had a total of 45 shots, 21 of which were on goal, and only four goals in total. That means 0.8% of their shots went for goals. Not good. Their opponents however, had a total of 106 shots, 44 on goal, and 17 for goals. When your opponent has just as many shots on goal as you have shots, it will be hard to win games.

Then CSI played Farmingdale State and everything changed. Down 2-0 in the first half, they went on to win in a double overtime thriller. Daniel Tysgankov, who was a substitution in overtime, scored the game winning goal.

A player who didn’t have a goal in that game was Nicholas Bacarella, and he hadn’t scored in the previous two games either. But he would go on to become the leading scorer for CSI and score five goals in the next six games. The teams he scored against were Baruch, Medgar Evers, and Brooklyn College, all of whom are potential candidates to face in the playoffs.

The team that looks like they can give CSI a challenge has not faced them yet. Jon Jay is 3-1 in conference and 4-7 overall while CSI is 3-0 in conference and 5-6 overall. That will be the second to last game of the regular season, in what could be a potential finals preview.

The Women’s season has been eerily similar to the Men’s. A slow start against out of conference teams set them back to a 0-2-1 start. Then they played teams within the conference and are now sitting at the top in the standings at 3-0.

The team had a setback after their main player on offense, Samantha Wysokowski went down with an injury, but that didn’t stop them from dominating teams in conference. A ton of confidence came out of their game against Medgar Evers, where they put up 10 goals in the first half. They followed that up with wins against Lehman by a score of 2-1, and York in a 6-0 shutout.

Their offense has been lead not by a scorer, but by the all-time assist leader in CSI history, Melissa Gelardi. She may not have any goals on the season, but she certainly knows how to create them as evident by her team leading 13 assists. The next highest on the roster is one. In the game against York, the first four goals scored came off a Gelardi assist.

While Gelardi is racking up assists, there isn’t one player on the team that is racking up the goals. Danielle Smith leads the charge with four, but Danielle Alexandrini, Senda Karagozler, Jennifer Cosenza, and Kristy Colangelo all have three. Wysokowski also had three before being sidelined. It seems the game plan has been to get the ball to Gelardi and have her create a goal with just about anyone on the team.

CSI has yet to face the other undefeated team in the conference, Brooklyn College. That match will be held in mid October and will also be a potential finals preview. If the two were to make it to the finals, it would be a repeat of last season, which resulted in Brooklyn defeating CSI.

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