by Evan Sobol
The Central Blue Devils wrapped up their non-conference schedule with a 1-1 draw at Atlantic 10, against opponent Saint Joseph’s on Saturday. CCSU (3-5-2) got on the board very early, but conceded a late goal that led to the draw. It was their second straight game that went into double overtime.
Midfielder Sean Gannon scored his first goal of the season in the sixth minute with a strike from close range. Gannon fired a shot from the top of the box that the goalie could not handle. The keeper fumbled the ball, resulting in the score. Midfielder DeShawn Parker assisted on the score. It was Parker’s first assist of the season.
The Blue Devils maintained control of the first half offensively. They recorded nine shots in the first 45 minutes, compared to the Hawks’ two. Louis Beddouri, Sebastian Calderon and Ryan Taylor, each recorded a shot on-goal for Central.
“Maybe some of the best soccer we’ve played all year in the first half,” Head Coach Shaun Green said. The Blue Devils also had four corner kicks in the half, while St. Joseph’s did not have any.
The Hawks (2-5-3) looked like a completely different team offensively in the second half. They recorded 10 shots and had three corner kicks, compared to Central’s two. Saint Joseph’s Derek MacKinnon, scored the equalizing goal late in minute 89. The forward gained possession of a loose ball and fired a shot into the upper left corner of the net. It was his first goal of the season for the Hawks.
The game went into two overtimes that were both scoreless. A good game by Hawks’ goalkeeper Greg O’Connell, kept them in the competition. He allowed just one goal on seven shots on goal, recording six saves. The Blue Devils’ Carson D’Ambrosio also had a good game, recording two saves on three shots on-goal.
Central recorded nine corner kicks to the Hawks’ three, but still failed to score on these opportunities. This is something that they have struggled with throughout the season. Coach Green noted that scoring on corners are not easy to come by, especially for the Blue Devils.
“We’re not a tall team.. we’re a possession kind of team. Some of the teams in our league are very big and strong kids who rely a lot on the athletic side of it… we rely more on our skills so we’re at a disadvantage no doubt.”
Following the draw, CCSU sits at fourth in the Northeast Conference standings based on record. Only three teams in the conference have a winning percentage above .500 upon the completion of non-conference play.
The Blue Devils begin conference play this Friday, Oct. 6, when they host Robert Morris (1-7-2). Coach Green provided an outlook on the road ahead.
“Our number one goal is to make the playoffs. We’ve gotta win our home games for sure, and we’ve gotta go and steal a couple away games,” Green said. “I’m pretty optimistic about our chances in the Northeast Conference this year, for sure.” The game starts at 2 p.m. at the CCSU Soccer Field.