Men’s soccer disappoints in season finale against CCNY Beavers
Ever since their victory in the CUNYAC championships last season, the Baruch College men’s soccer team has been working hard to return to the biggest stage the conference has to offer for the fourth consecutive time. From middling preseason rankings that favored the College of Staten Island Dolphins over the defending champions, to last minute upsets and emotional wins, the Bearcats, after a long journey, have once again found themselves back in the CUNYAC tournament. Baruch concluded its 2015-16 campaign by splitting its last two matches with a 2-0 win over the Hunter College Hawks and a 0-2 loss to the City College of New York Beavers. The team’s inconsistent play in the final stretch should not catch anyone by surprise, especially when the last time the Bearcats won consecutive games this season dates all the way back to September; Baruch won three straight games over Lehman College, John Jay College, and Medgar Evers College to capitalize their longest win streak this fall.
In their second to last match of the regular season, Baruch powered past the Hawks with a late surge in the second half of the match. After a scoreless first period for both teams, Baruch drew first blood in the 50-minute mark on a penalty kick by Myles Bent. Diego Alvarado later added the insurance goal in the 70-minute mark to put the game away for good. Alvarado’s score started from a series of plays that began with a free kick set up by Stanley Goldberg. Goldberg found Edward Humphreys inside the box to tap the ball to an open Alvarado, who finally punched it in and found the back of the net. Baruch staved off Hunter the rest of the game to complete just their fourth sweep of the season and improve their record to 8-6. Hunter attempted five shots, three of which were on goal, but was unable to get passed Xavier Carrillo and his razor-sharp hands. With a win that evening, Baruch secured its bid for home field advantage in the first round of the CUNYAC tournament.
Against the Beavers, the Bearcats were unable to exhibit the same momentum they had in their previous game. This was the first time the two teams met since their quarterfinal match in the CUNYAC tournament last season, when the Bearcats cruised to a 3-1 victory. Unfortunately for Baruch, it would not find the same success in the rematch. On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Bearcats suited up to face the Beavers in Montclair, New Jersey at the soccer complex of Montclair State University. This was an unfamiliar territory for both teams that were in desperate need of a win. For the Bearcats, a win would mean a guaranteed third place finish in the conference standings, while for the Beavers, a win would mean a chance to play at their home field in the first round.
Baruch gave up an early goal in the opening minutes of the match. The defense was caught off-guard on a quick throw in from the left side by the Beavers to set up a header for CCNY’s Anthony Scarallo. After halftime, Baruch turned up its offensive production by taking 13 shots, six of which were on goal; Baruch only attempted five shots in the first half. CCNY, however, had an answer and matched Baruch’s intensity by fending off the six shots on the goal with six saves, taking away any hope the Bearcats might have had of making a comeback. The Bearcats conceded a second goal in the second half with a little under 30 minutes remaining, closing out their season finale with a 0-2 loss.
This season, inconsistency has been the only thing consistent with the Bearcats. In games where the offense would show up, their defense would not, and vice versa. At this time last year, the Bearcats capped off their season with a 9-5-2 overall record and held the fourth seed in the standings. This year, the Bearcats find themselves in a similar situation under an 8-7 overall record and the third best conference record in CUNYAC play. CCNY trails Baruch by just one game and has a chance to take the third seed if it can manage to pull a win against Medgar Evers on Saturday, Oct. 24. With the quarterfinals set to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Bearcats will look to play against either Lehman or John Jay in the first round of the tournament depending on how CCNY fares on Saturday.
Although their season might not have gone exactly the way they had hoped so from August, Baruch still has been a force to be reckoned with in the CUNYAC conference.