Champions Again

This year’s match was tenser, but the Brooklyn College Women’s Soccer team prevailed over the College of Staten Island for the second-straight year in the CUNYAC Final. PHOTO/ Brooklyn College Athletics

By Faraz T. Toor

Published: November 12, 2014

The scene looked familiar for the Brooklyn College Women’s Soccer team Saturday. They were on the same field, with the leaves changing around Brooklyn, and against the same opponent.

The Lady Bulldogs made sure the result would also be the same.

Bergelie Louis scored the tournament-winning goal in the second half, as Brooklyn College defeated the College of Staten Island (CSI), 1-0, in the 2014 City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) final at Brooklyn College Field to win the city championship for the second-straight year.

In a rematch of the defending champions (no. 1-seeded Brooklyn College) and last year’s CUNYAC runner-ups (no. 2-seeded CSI), the reigning champs won a tense final in front of a home crowd of over 400.

Scoreless after halftime, Brooklyn (10-8-1) forward Isabelle Lalami rushed down the sideline and crossed the ball to Louis, who was in front of CSI (9-8-2) goalkeeper Victoria Donegan. The senior forward Louis blasted her shot away from Donegan and into the CSI net to give the Lady Bulldogs a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish.

After breaking the deadlock, Brooklyn’s offense had a flurry of chances.

Less than 10 minutes after her go-ahead goal, Louis received a pass and had space to knock in her second goal, but Donegan swooped in and made the save.

In the 61st minute, Lalami and Louis tried to replay their 47th minute effectiveness, as Lalami sent the pass to Louis before Donegan denied her again.

In the 65th minute, Lalami nearly had a goal herself. Donegan’s net was left open, but the Brooklyn forward’s shot went over the crossbar and kept the match at 1-0.

The Lady Bulldogs had the best chance to increase their lead in the 80th minute. Sophomore midfielder Jordan Kerwin, looking for her sixth goal of the season, rammed a shot off the crossbar.

The Brooklyn defense held strong for the rest of the match and limited the Dolphins to one shot on goal over the last 10 minutes. Overall in the second half, the Lady Bulldogs outshot CSI, 15-2.

The two sides played a more even match in the first half.

In the 36th minute, Kristy Colangelo laced a shot at BC goalie Rebecca Harmata, which the first-year net minder saved.

Four minutes later, Lalami fired the ball at Donegan, who stifled the attempt to keep the game scoreless.

In the 44th minute, Harmata had to defend her net again when Deanna Kvetkoff attempted to score. Again Harmata swallowed up the attempt to keep it tied just before the break.

Harmata, who made five saves in the clean sheet, recorded four of them in the first half. Donegan was almost the inverse; she notched six saves in total, and five in the second half.

Brooklyn outshot CSI 19-10 in the game, and 7-5 in shots on goal.

Louis scored the first goal in last year’s final as well. In the 13th minute in the 2013 final, she scored off a deflection, but would need her teammates to back her up after the Dolphins equalized a few minutes later. The Lady Bulldogs won the 2013 final, 3-1.

Brooklyn College ends the season undefeated in the CUNYAC conference. Their only blemish was a double-overtime draw with CSI in mid-October.

After the match, CUNYAC named Louis the playoff’s Most Valuable Player. She tallied a goal on 12 shots in the two Brooklyn College playoff games.

Last year, CUNYAC named BC’s Sayla Flores MVP after she provided the assists on the Lady Bulldog’s championship-winning goals in the second half of the 2013 final.

With the conference championship secured, Brooklyn College will play in the NCAA Tournament this weekend for the second-straight year. Last season, they went out in the first round when John Hopkins University defeated them 6-0 in Baltimore.

After a 0-4 start to the season in non-conference matches in New Jersey, the Lady Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 15 matches.