By Corey Pollnow
NEW BRITAIN, CONN. –
The Central Men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss on Wednesday evening in a non-conference game against in-state rival Hartford.
Javoni Simms scored his third goal of the season and the game winner in the 85th minute to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Simms received the ball on the right wing from Jeff Tyron and redirected the ball into the upper corner past Central’s goalkeeper Josef Abele.
“The goal caught us in a little bit of a counter attack,” said Coach Shaun Green. “They put a great ball in, and got a deflection. I don’t think it was a reflection of the quality of the build up of their attack.”
Freddy Metellus scored his first goal of the season and the lone goal for the Blue Devils in the 46th minute, seconds after the second half commenced. The score came from a give and go in which Zach Zurita threaded a ball into space to Metellus who dribbled three times into the penalty box and placed a precisely struck shot with the inside of his right foot past David MacKinnon and into the back right of the goal.
UHart was the first team to get on the scoreboard in the 33rd minute on a strike from Tyron that Green referred to as “a world class finish.” Tyron received the ball on the right wing from Anthony Santaga and blasted a shot from nearly 18 yards out into the upper portion of the goal.
The Blue Devils’ passing was crisp throughout the game and they controlled the pace of the game in the second half, but were unable to capitalize on many scoring opportunities.
“I asked the team for a response at halftime,” said Green. Despite the loss, Green is pleased with the team’s recent play. “We changed to a 4-3-3 and the second half reflected how we’ve been playing the last four games.”
Abele made three saves on five UHart shots, and has tallied 26 saves this season. Through 585 minutes and seven games this season, Abele has a 1.23 goals against average and a save percentage of .765.
UHart edged Central in corner kicks 4-3. Both teams totaled 11 shots a piece, with the Blue Devils registering five shots on goal.
Zurita, who transferred to Central this season, tallied another assist and leads the team with three assists and is tied for most goals with Eddy Bogle at three.
With the loss, Central’s record drops to 3-5-1 and UHart improves to 7-2-2 (0-1 America East Conference).
Central’s next game on Friday evening versus LIU Brooklyn at 7 p.m. will mark the start of their NEC conference play.