Men’s Soccer Falls in CUNYAC Final

Brooklyn College captains Kevin Bresnan (left), Kenny Benitez (center), and Oleg Tykhonravov (right) had to settle for second place in the CUNYAC Championships. PHOTO/ Brooklyn College Athletics

By Faraz T. Toor

Published: November 12, 2014

Despite having a 35-minute man advantage, the Brooklyn College Men’s Soccer team couldn’t overcome an early deficit and lost, 1-0, to Baruch College in the 2014 City University of New York (CUNYAC) final at the Brooklyn College Field on Saturday.

Baruch (no. 4 seed; 12-5-2) got their title defense started early. In the 11th minute, after the Bulldogs (no. 2 seed; 9-9-1) fouled the Bearcats, Danny Goldberg took the free kick that Rashid Allah Morad headed in front of BC goalkeeper Ilya Keygen, to teammate Charles McConnell, whose header went into the bottom of the net and beat Keygen to put Baruch ahead, 1-0.

The Bulldogs got a ray of hope in the 55th minute, however, when referees gave the Bearcat goalie Peter DiBona a red card on a foul. Helder Correia—the team’s number one goalie, who had played only once in the past three weeks—came in to protect the one-goal lead, but Brooklyn had a man advantage for the last 35 minutes of the final.

On the ensuing set piece, BC’s Kenny Benitez’s shot went wide.

The Bulldogs’ offense played better in the second half, but were unable to get off many productive shots. In the 75th minute, Manuel Baltazar went after the net, but his shot sailed high. Four minutes later, Omer Capoglu headed a shot at Correia, but his attempt sailed high as well.

Fouls and offside penalties plagued both teams throughout the match. In the second half, the Bulldogs committed eight fouls, and the Bearcats one-upped them. The Bulldogs, however, went offside four times in the second period of play.

Brooklyn College nearly sent the match into overtime in the games dying seconds. In the 90th minute, on the last play of the match, Luccas Nesello fired one last attempt at the Baruch net, but Correia made his only save of the match—and the one that ended the match and gave Baruch College the CUNYAC title.

The Bearcats controlled the first half and outshot the Bulldogs 7-0.

In the 8th minute, Goldberg went at the net, but Keygen grabbed the shot.

16 minutes later, Keygen saved Edward Humphreys’s shot to keep it a one-goal game. Keygen finished with three saves in the final.

The Bearcats won the shots battle, 11-5. The Bulldogs managed just a single shot on goal all match: the 90th minute one that Correia saved.

Baruch won their third-straight city championship. They beat Brooklyn College, 4-2, in the final two years ago at Randall’s Island Field #10.

Baruch’s title win gives them CUNYAC’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

The Brooklyn College loss at home Saturday was their first defeat to a CUNYAC side all season. They drew with Baruch 0-0 in double-overtime last month in Maspeth, New York.

The Bulldogs had not lost any match overall since Hunter College beat them, 2-1, at Randall’s Island Field #70 last month.