BY Jeff Weisinger
Senior Sports Editor
Throughout the CUNYAC tournament, CCNY played what possibly could have been their best soccer of the season – winning six matches in a row on their way to their first CUNYAC title in a decade, the fifth in program history after they upset Staten Island in double overtime 2-1.
However that was then and the NCAA tournament turned out to be a completely different story. The Beavers collapsed in the cold, light-snowy weather against the No. 13 SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons 7-0 in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer tournament on Saturday.
“It was tough,” CCNY goalkeeper Maxwell Berkow said. “We came out here to another school to play on their field, in their weather and what happened was we didn’t execute.
“A loss is a loss, whether you allow one goal or seven goals, whatever. It’s really disappointing to know that we worked this hard and that we could’ve executed better.”
The easy demolition by the Red Dragons began in just the third minute as Jared Van brunt opened the scoring on a free kick to put Oneonta up 1-0 early. City nearly tied the match at one on a would-be goal by CUNYAC title hero Mostafa Haridi in the 16th minute, however the referee waived it off saying that Oneonta keeper Vincent Pellegrino had possession of the original shot-on-goal.
Oneonta scored their next three goals in a five minute span — all on headers — starting with Sean Vinberg’s header on a corner kick. Dylan Williams scored on his header off of a cross down the left wing of the defensive backline just 30 seconds after to put the Reds up 3-0, then Van Brunt earned his brace on a header off of another cross that got past the City backline, putting Oneonta up 4-0.
Zaf Saljanin scored the first goal of his brace on the day in the 42nd minute, beating the City backline and goalkeeper Maxwell Berkow to put the Reds up 5-0 at halftime.
Oneonta kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second half, as Zach Wilson scored his first goal of the season on a corner in the 62nd minute and Saljanin scored his second in the 73rd minute on a loose ball that got past Berkow and crawled into the low corner of the net.
“It’s simple: we lost all those goals on men who weren’t following through the box,” Berkow explained. “It’s a simple fix, a simple tactic that you need to have, and it just slipped our minds and it got to us.”
The aggressive attack that CCNY had throughout the end of the regular season and into the CUNYAC tournament was nowhere to be found Saturday as the Beavers were outshot 29-3 (16-1 on-goal) with City earning just one corner kick in the match.
Berkow had his roughest day in the net, allowing a season-high seven goals, however racked nine saves against the Reds.
Oneonta extends their shutout streak to 540 minutes, recording shutouts in their last six-straight matches including Saturday.
CCNY (11-8-0, 5-3-0 CUNYAC) will end their season against Yeshiva University on Friday, Nov. 20 at Randall’s Island.