By Ralph Chery, Contributor |
In the midst of the end of the CUNYAC regular season drama, the City College Men’s soccer team play host to John Jay College, Saturday at 9:00 p.m. at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.
The defending champions are in the middle of their best season since 2013, racking 13 points in their first six conference games. At this point last season, during their championship run, they had nine points.
However, they are tied for third place in a tight race at the top of the CUNYAC table. Only two points separate them from first placed Hunter College.
2016 Men’s Soccer Standings
Copyright © 2016 CUNY Athletic Conference
The top-two teams will be granted a bye round in the quarter-finals and jump straight in the semis. With the chance of finishing in the top two seeds still alive, sophomore midfielder Kevin Muniz mentioned how crucial the last two games of the season are for the team.
“We treat every conference games as if it was a play-off match,” the midfielder said. “We come out playing 110 percent and we play to our fullest. This means that we play with the utmost intensity and we carry that throughout the match.”
“This game especially, is very important for us because a win puts us closer to the top two seeded teams and we go to the semi-final match. We will treat this game as a final and we will look for the win for the whole 90 minutes.”
John Jay has the second worst offense in the league, scoring only four goals in six games. CCNY has scored 12 goals, triple John Jay’s tally.
That said, all-star defender Anthony Scarallo won’t underestimate their opponents this Saturday.
“Our attitude going into the game is going to be the same attitude we take with us going into any other conference game,” Scarallo said. “If they can’t score, they can’t win. As a defender, a clean sheet is always the objective, as it obviously gives the team an opportunity to win. We cannot take them lightly, however, as I’m sure John Jay will come out hard and ready to play.”
City College has gone further than John Jay in the playoffs for the past three seasons, though the Bloodhounds proves to be the better team when facing each other, defeating CCNY twice in their past three games.
Scarallo will be delighted if City improves their record against John Jay but is more focused on finishing in the top-two seeds.
“It would be a great result to make it two [wins] of our last three [games] against John Jay,” the senior said. “Again, this match is more about trying to secure a top-two seed than it is about turning our fortunes around against John Jay.”
While the Beavers fight for the top-two seeds, John Jay on the other end is battling for a playoff spot as they sit in sixth place, the last playoff seed.
Muniz admitted how difficult it will be to face a team that’s fighting to make the playoffs.
“It’s always hard to play a team that’s playing for a position in the playoffs,” the sophomore said.
“They have this motivation right now that will essentially make every single player on that team step their game up for this match. Their intensity is something we will have to equal or overcome with our own, and that’s always a hard thing to do. I expect a good match and I’m looking forward to this game on Saturday.”