Brooklyn College women's soccer advances to CUNYAC title game
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In only its second year of existence, the Brooklyn College women's soccer team is on the verge of lifting its first CUNYAC Championship trophy.
The bourgeoning program, spearheaded by founder and head coach Patrick Horne, earned a berth in Saturday afternoon's CUNYAC title game at BC Field on Wednesday with a 3-1 semifinal victory over CCNY.
The second-seeded Lady Bulldogs improved to 14-3 this year after going 6-7-1 and missing out on the CUNYAC playoffs during their inaugural campaign.
They got first-half goals from junior Bergelie Louis, sophomore Sayla Flores of Bay Ridge's Telecommunications High School and second-year defender Shani Nakhid-Schuster to open a 3-0 lead at halftime on their home field, where they boast a 6-1 mark this season.
"We were mentally ready for the game today, said Horne, whose title-hungry team will now face top-seeded Staten Island here on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
"It showed by our ability to finish, which was one of our shortcomings throughout the season,” he added. “Three goals in the first half against a tough team like CCNY was a great way to show our focus."
Louis opened the scoring in the 24th minute by deftly touching back a rebound, infusing the crowd of 250 partisan supporters at the school's newly renovated athletic complex.
Fifteen minutes later, Louis set up Flores with a beautiful cross, which the Brooklyn native netted for a 2-0 lead.
Reigning CUNYAC Rookie of the Year Shani Abrahams took off down the right sideline just 26 seconds after the ensuing centerfield kick, relaying a perfect pass onto the foot of Schuster, who made it 3-0 before intermission.
Yanique Newman's penalty kick with just under 13 minutes to play was the only shot that got past freshman goaltender and St. Francis Prep alum Kimberly Chacko, who finished with five saves to seal BC's first-ever playoff victory.
Now comes the daunting task of knocking off the top-ranked Dolphins, who beat the Bulldogs twice during the regular season, including a 3-2 double-overtime triumph at BC Field on Oct. 26.
Horne, however, believes his ladies will be up to the task of mounting a serious bid for what would be an historic win for his young program.
"It is difficult to defeat a team three times in one year, but we were able to accomplish that [Wednesday]," he noted. "We are very focused and ready for Saturday's Final."
The BC women's volleyball team advanced to the CUNYAC semifinals with Tuesday night's straight-set home triumph over CCNY.
Freshmen Julia Bogdan and Francesca LoCascio had nine kills apiece as the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 25-15, 25-19, 25-20 victory, earning the right to meet top-seeded Baruch in the semifinal round Friday night at Hunter College.
"The team came to play tonight and they were taking no prisoners," said coach Joanne Riggs. "I could not be prouder of this group of women. They have worked tirelessly to get to this point and they are peaking at a great time. Their cohesiveness was evident to everyone who watched the match."