by Brian O’Neill
Rounding out their five game home stand, Central’s women’s soccer played the University of Maine and the University of Fairfield over the weekend. The Blue Devils split the games between a win and a tie, increasing their win/tie streak to four games. putting their overall record at 4-3-2.
The Blue Devils faced off first on Friday against the Maine Black Bears. Central struck first, when Danica Foglio rose above the Black Bears’ defense on a header off a corner kick from Kelly Halligan in the 14th minute. Maine evened the score in the 38th minute, when Jordan Pellerin scored from inside the box, beating the keeper to the bottom left, with the assist going to Ashley Robinson.
The second half was full of scoring. Halligan started it off, beating the Maine keeper on a free kick from the top of the box in the 63rd minute.
While Halligan’s goal put Central ahead, the lead was short-lived.
In the 64th minute, Charlene Achille scored on a Pellerin cross to tie the game for the Black Bears. Just four minutes after, Achille scored again to give Maine a 3-2 lead with just over 20 minutes left in the game.
With just eight minutes left in regulation, though, Central’s Tori Sousa scored off a pass from Cailynn Harding to tie the game. In the 20 minutes of overtime played, both Central and Maine didn’t allow a goal. At the final whistle the score was 3-3.
“Positives we scored 3 goals, negatives we conceded 3 goals,” head coach Mick D’Arcy said. “With the amount of chances that we had in the first 20 minutes of the game we should’ve done better with those, we didn’t. Once they got the equalizing goal, it gave them a lot of encouragement from there.”
The Blue Devils and Black Bears ended even in just about every statistical category, except offsides. Central was called offside 13 times, while Maine didn’t a single time.
“They played with a bit offside trap, kept stepping out, not something that we’ve really seen a whole lot of this year, and it caught us a little bit off guard,” said D’Arcy of the difference after the game.
Central squared off against the Fairfield Stags on Sunday for their second game of the weekend. The Blue Devils came out early, when Julie Lavoie scored in the 15th minute on a pass from Harding. At the end of the first half Central had nine shots with five on net, almost doubling Fairfield who tallied five shots with two on goal.
The second half opened with a bang. Central scored a goal in just the third minute from Claire Walsh, who put a shot over Fairfield’s keeper on a pass from Sousa. Sousa would add to her stat line when she scored on a free kick from the top of the box in the 79th minute.
At the end of the second half, Central had racked up 13 shots, with nine on goal while Fairfield totaled eight shots, with just three on net. Credit for the shutout goes to Central’s keeper, Nikki Turley, who clocked just under 80 minutes in net while making three saves, with backup goalie Corey Medrano between the pipes for the last 10 minutes of the game.
“Don’t be fooled by the score line, Fairfield is a very good team,” said D’Arcy. “The 15 minutes I thought they did real well, they had us under a lot of pressure. After [the goal] you could see the shift [it] made in the game. It gave us a boost of confidence. I thought that really hurt [Fairfield] psychologically. After that I just think we were the better team.”
The Blue Devils have a 12 day break before traveling to Pennsylvania to play Robert Morris University on the October 3 and St. Francis University on the fifth. The two games are the first Northeast Conference games of the year for the women’s team.