NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Despite Mother Nature's dose of cold rain and heavy wind and a determined upset bid by Berkeley College, the College of New Rochelle Mens Soccer team erupted for five second half goals to defeat the Knights 6-0 in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Semi-finals Saturday night.
The win moves CNR to the championship game tomorrow at 3:00pm against the 3rd seeded SUNY-ESF. SUNY-ESF defeated Albany Pharmacy College 5-3 in the other semi-final.
The Blue Angels wasted little time going up on the defending league champions, when freshmen Jovanni Garcia (Garden Grove, CA) scored off a pass from freshmen Gabriel Lopez (Madrid, Spain) just 1:19 into the contest. But, Berkeley would increase the pressure and Mother Nature increased the wind and rain that the CNR team had to go into for the next 43 minutes. The Knights would have their best chance of the game in the 7th minute when they had a one on one inside the box, but put the shot over the cross bar.
CNR would nearly go up by two, when a cross found the head of sophomore Nicorey Warren (Brooklyn, NY). The forward's header hit the post. It would be the first of three posts by CNR attackers in the half. But, the score remained 1-0 at the half - the same as the regular season contest.
And just like the regular season contest, CNR scored quickly in the 2nd half and exploded for several goals in a short span to deflate the Knights. Garcia connected again off a pass from Warren in the 48th minute to push the lead to 2-0. Warren would get into the scoring column moments later off a cross from freshmen Angel Gonzalez (Fort Lauderdale, FL).
Gonzalez and Lopez, and freshmen Cesar Rodriguez (Santa Ana, CA) would add tallies in the 68th, 69th, and 81st minutes to solidfy the win.
New Rochelle, which is in its inaugural mens soccer season, also advances to their first-ever championship. The team enters the final on a seven game shutout streak. Freshmen Cristian Perez Del Castillo (Harrison, NY) made one save on the night to earn his 9th clean sheet of the season. The last time they gave up a goal was 680 minutes ago - ironically, against tomorrow's opponent SUNY ESF.