By Samip Delhiwala
Published: November 1st, 2017
After an incredible turnaround to save its season and make the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Championships as the third seed, the Brooklyn College men’s soccer team was eliminated in a heartbreaking 1-2 loss to second-seed John Jay College in the CUNYAC Championships Semifinal match on Saturday afternoon at Randall’s Island.
After scoring three unanswered goals in the second period of the Bulldogs’ first round 3-1 win over Hunter College, all the momentum was on their side.
However, the Bulldogs defense didn’t have the start it wanted, as the Bloodhounds pounced on them in the sixth minute. Nader Munassar shot from outside the box right past the hands of BC sophomore goalkeeper Utku Tanritanir to put John Jay up 1-0.
The remainder of the first period featured phenomenal defense on both sides, as both teams were unable to score after Munassar’s goal.
But the Bulldogs still found their offensive abilities in the second period.
Freshman midfielder Azizjon Ziyaev fired one past John Jay goalkeeper Alexandros Taliotis for the equalizer on a spectacular assist from junior midfielder Ahmad Aly in the 65th minute, and the score was 1-1 with 25 minutes remaining in the match.
It was ultimately the Bulldogs’ own blunder that lost them the match in the 78th minute.
A Bloodhound attempted to take control of a loose ball in BC’s penalty box, but a Bulldog unintentionally headed the ball into his own net, giving John Jay the game-winning goal.
With just five minutes remaining in the match, the Bulldogs tried to increase the pressure on John Jay’s defense. But Taliotis delivered in crunch-time, making back-to-back clutch saves to hold his team’s 2-1 lead and blow any hopes the Bulldogs had for a late equalizer.
Aly, Ziyaev, and Brian Navarrete led the Bulldogs with four shots each; two of Aly’s were on goal. Ziyaev’s goal was his 17th of the season, a team-high.
Tanritanir made crucial saves late in the first period, and finished with 10 saves overall in the loss.
Alexis Bustillo led John Jay’s offensive attack with five shots (four on goal), while Munassar had three shots (two on goal). Taliotis notched four saves overall.
John Jay will now play in the CUNYAC Championship match for the first time since 2006, and will compete for the program’s first championship against first-seed Lehman College this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the College of Staten Island.