Written By David Schoen
Pier 5 of Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City – On Sunday, November 12th 2017, the St. Francis College Brooklyn Terriers Men’s Soccer team (14-4-1) defeated the Long Island University Brooklyn Blackbirds Men’s soccer team (6-9-3) with a score of 5-0 to earn the 2017 Northeastern Conference Championship.
The flurry of goals all started when junior forward Ali Tounkara scored his third tournament goal in the 10th minute of play. Junior defender Dominick Falanga scored off an assist from sophomore defender Marco Torriani in the 24th minute of play. It was Falanga’s seventh goal of the year and the second Terriers goal of the game.
After halftime, Tounkara scored his second goal of the game in the 60th minute of play. It was Tounkara’s fourth score of the NEC Tournament and his team-leading eighth goal of the season. In the 75th minute of play, junior midfielder Sami Gliguem scored the fourth goal of the game for the Terriers on a rebound shot. Lastly, defender Nadim Saqui capped the St. Francis win with scoring a header, proving to be his second goal of the tournament and finalizing the game’s score at 5-0.
Despite St. Francis College and LIU Brooklyn’s previous matches usually going down to the wire, this 2017 NEC Championship game was a relatively dominant effort by the Terriers. St. Francis Brooklyn outshot LIU Brooklyn 18-4 in the 2017 NEC title game. LIU Brooklyn goalie Anthony Sciola made three saves. St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers goalie Robert Bazzichetto stopped all of LIU Brooklyn’s 4 shots, ultimately winning his seventh shutout of the season.
The five-goal differential tied for the largest margin of victory in NEC Championship match history. Previously, Fairleigh Dickinson beat Mount St. Mary’s with a score of 7-2 to win the 2008 NEC Championship.
Ali Tounkara was named the NEC Tournament MVP. After the match, he said “it was great to score an early goal” and “it gave us a great amount of confidence and put us in a good position” after “a lot of pressure leading up to the game.” Regarding his MVP honors, Tounkara said “the MVP is nice but I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it without the help of my teammates.” 11-year St. Francis Terriers head coach Tom Giovatto said “Ali was incredible for us.” He additionally stated that the game “was a complete performance today against a very good team.” Coach Giovatto added “I couldn’t have asked for anything better and I’m so proud of our guys” and that “the big crowd really helped us.”
Ali Tounkara, Dominick Falanga, Nadim Saqui, and sophomore defender Faouzi Taieb were the four St. Francis Brooklyn Terrier players named to the 2017 NEC Men’s Soccer All-Tournament Team.
As of November 14th, The Terriers will play the Fordham University Rams Soccer team in the first round of the NCAA Men’s College Cup on Thursday, November 16th at 7 pm in The Bronx, New York. The Terriers, after winning the 2017 NEC Tournament, have now won a total of seven NEC Championship titles and have earned eighth NCAA Soccer Tournament bid. After the 2017 NEC Championship win, the St. Francis Terriers Soccer team is now widely regarded as a modern-day dynasty. St. Francis College’s 2017 NEC Tournament win was their second NEC Championship in a row, and their 4th in 5 years after previously winning the title in 2013, 2014, and last year in 2016.
Congratulations to the SFC Dynasty!
Image Credit – SFC Student Activities Instagram account