The Berkeley College New York men's soccer team suffered a tough loss on Saturday evening, falling to the College of New Rochelle by a score of 2-1 in overtime in the semifinal round of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The match took place on the campus of Albany College of Pharmacy. With the defeat, Berkeley saw its unbeaten streak end at 11 matches (10-5-1), while the Blue Angels earned a spot in the conference title match, improving to 9-6 with the dramatic victory.
The contest served as a rematch of the classic regular season showdown between the two teams back on Wednesday evening, October 3, when Berkeley defeated the Blue Angels by a score of 4-3 in overtime at Flowers Park in New Rochelle, NY.
After the teams played 33 minutes of scoreless soccer, Knights offensive standout Jean-Gardy Derineau notched the first goal of the match (from Josue Jimenez and Tcharly Verna) at 33:06. That would be the lone tally of the opening session, as Berkeley took a 1-0 advantage into the break.
In the late stages of the second half, the Knights appeared poised to head to the HVIAC championship match for the first time since 2015, but the Blue Angels recorded a late goal from Rolando Oseguera with 36 seconds remaining in regulation (89:24) to tie the match at one goal apiece. Juan Arboleda picked up the assist on the play, as the match headed into overtime.
11 seconds into the extra period, Xavier Cruzata gave New Rochelle an improbable victory by blasting a shot past Knights netminder Dario Cruz Sepulveda to push the Blue Angels to the 2-1 comeback triumph.
Berkeley out-shot New Rochelle by a slim margin of 14-13, while committing 21 fouls to the Blue Angels' eight. Sepulveda made five saves for the Knights despite the loss, while Elijah Robinson stopped six shots in goal for New Rochelle.
With the victory, the College of New Rochelle advances to tomorrow's 3:00pm HVIAC championship contest against No. 2 seeded SUNY-ESF.
The Knights will now await word on a possible at-large bid into the USCAA Division II National Men's Soccer Championship Tournament. The selection show will take place this Tuesday on www.theuscaa.com, at 5:30pm.
Regardless of whether the Knights qualify the National tournament or not, Berkeley College will have at least one more match this season, which will be a road contest against Yeshiva University on Sunday, November 4. Location and match-time are both still to-be-determined.