Category Archives: Soccer

Men Fall Short Of NEC Tournament

by Evan Sobol 

The Central Connecticut State University Men’s Soccer team ended their season with a 0-0 draw at NEC opponent Bryant on Friday in a game that lasted two overtimes. Central finished the season 5-8-4 overall with a 2-3-2 record in the Northeast Conference.

The Blue Devils got off to a good start offensively, recording 10 shots in the first half and forcing four saves. Andres Albino, Sean Gannon and Ryan Taylor each recorded a shot on goal. Junior forward Louis Beddouri recorded three shots on the day and five total.

Bryant recorded a total of 17 shots, including two in the second overtime.

Central’s Carson D’Ambrosio sealed the shutout with a save on a shot by Bryant’s Felipe Cypriano in minute 107. D’Ambrosio finished the day with six saves. It was his second clean sheet of the season. He finished the season with 54 total saves in 14 games played after replacing the injured Nick Velleca in goal. The junior finished the season with a 3-5-3 record as goalkeeper.

Sophomore midfielder Andres Muriel Albino finished the season as the Blue Devils’ highest scorer. He totaled 16 points after scoring six goals and recording four assists. His best game of the season was in CCSU’s lone home victory on Oct. 8 against St. Francis when he scored two goals and had an assist. The Sevilla, Spain native looks to come back strong for his junior year.

This was the last game for seniors Luke Albertini, DeShawn Parker, Ryan Taylor and Nick Velleca. Albertini started every game for the Blue Devils the past two seasons at the midfield position. He finished his career at Central with two goals. Parker finished the season with five goals and one assist. He played midfielder in 30 games total for the Blue Devils over the past two seasons. Taylor finished the season with three goals and six assists. It was one of the forward’s best seasons as a Blue Devil. He appeared in 67 games total for Central, recording 13 goals and 11 assists. Velleca finishes his career at CCSU with 34 total games in goal. He had a goal allowed average of 1.86. He also had 141 total saves.

Central finishes the regular season at tied for sixth in the Northeast Conference. Their 2-3-2 conference record is tied with Bryant’s. No. 1 seed St. Francis Brooklyn plays No. 4 Robert Morris and No. 2 LIU Brooklyn will take on No. 3 Fairleigh Dickinson in Friday’s conference tournament. The finals will be played on Sunday, Nov. 12.

Ashley Cavanaugh: Accomplishing her goals on and off the field

by Kimberly Pena

Soccer has always been a way of life for Central Connecticut State University women’s soccer team goalie, Ashley Cavanaugh. She has been playing the sport since she was six years old with two of her three sisters in her hometown Belchertown, Massachusetts.

“One of them was actually a goalkeeper too, and the other one played a little bit of goal keeper, but not as much,” Cavanaugh said. “Me and one of my other sisters went to SoccerPlus camps together for years, probably like five years and we both pushed each other so hard.”

But it was her father, Joe Cavanaugh, who pushed his daughter to reach her full potential. Cavanaugh explains it was her father’s continuous support that put her in the position of being CCSU’s goalie, succeeding former Blue Devils superstar Nicki Turley.

Cavanaugh began her first two years as a Blue Devil as a second-string goalie to Turley. In the 2017-18 season and her junior year, she took over the full-time duties as goalie. Although everything has not been perfect for Cavanaugh, it has been a learning experience that she has taken with stride.

“I grow everyday as a player,” Cavanaugh said. “I feel like I have learned a lot from her (Turley) and I kind of carried that into now my junior year and I feel like Hannah (Page) and Rachel (DeBellis), the sophomore and freshman goalkeepers, I feel that they learn from me and I learn from them and I feel like it is nice to keep that rolling.”

Cavanaugh, who is an MA native, decided to come to CCSU because several of her friends from SoccerPlus played at Central, and it was not too far away from home. It also did not hurt that CCSU women’s soccer team head coach Mick D’Arcy, was a coach of Cavanaugh during her years at SoccerPlus, easing the coach-player relationship.

One thing Cavanaugh says that she learned from D’Arcy is to keep the growth mindset, and it has been a message that D’Arcy has spread to the whole team.

“We want the whole team to come out with a growth mindset,” Cavanaugh said. “If we are down a goal, we don’t want to play like we’re down a goal. We are going to win regardless that should be the mindset there. Try hard for everything and work together.”

Cavanaugh and the team are off to a 7-7 record and are 3-2 in conference play. The team got off to a rough start within the conference, making the task of playing forward that much more difficult because the team needs to be perfect from here on out, according to Cavanaugh.

However, she feels it is a task that the team can conquer because of their ability to pull for one another. With only two seasons remaining as a Blue Devil, she hopes to end it the only way she knows how: winning.

“Ultimately the goal is to make the tournament and when we make it to the tournament, the goal is to win the tournament.”

Men’s Soccer Splits Two Conference Games

by Patrick Gustavson

Central Connecticut’s men’s soccer team fell to LIU Brooklyn in a double overtime thriller on Friday, by the score of 3-2.

It was all Blue Devils in the first half, dominating the pace and creating multiple opportunities. They capitalized in minute 32, when DeShawn Parker scored off a cross from Ryan Taylor. The goal is Parker’s third in the last two games.

The Blackbirds came out strong to start the second half, with a score from Naeem Charles on a free kick. Head coach Shaun Green, then began preaching passion and hard work for his team.

“Emotionally, it’s an area where we still need to develop. We have a lot of similar personalities on our squad. What you must have is two or three guys on the team who are driving the team, not physically, but verbally, and we’re working on that,” Green said.

The Blackbirds goal sparked the Blue Devils, who played with far more intensity and retook the lead when defender Filippo Pirola slid through the defense on a corner kick and punched it through for the goal, just his second one of the season.

Just when it appeared the Blue Devils had the game won, a penalty was called in the box with just under three minutes left to play in regulation, much to the dismay of the Blue Devils bench. Rasmus Hansen buried a shot past goalkeeper Carson D’Ambrosio, tying the game for the Blackbirds.

Following a scoreless first overtime period, it appeared the game was destined to finished in a draw. With just under three minutes to play in the second overtime, Chris Solbakken scored on a header on a corner kick.

Despite the loss, Green was pleased with his team’s performance. “We’ve been playing well, and LIU has been one of the perennial teams in the conference over the last couple of years. We had them for a large portion of the game, so I’m not that concerned about our performance. They did everything but score that goal, but I think we outplayed them in overtime. It’s the cruelty of soccer: you can outplay a team and end up losing.”

The Blue Devils then traveled to Sacred Heart on Sunday, where they shut out the Pioneers en route to a 1-0 victory.

The lone goal of the game was scored by midfielder Andres Muriel Albino, in minute 43. Following a two-goal performance against Saint Francis U, Albino has being named NEC offensive player of the week.

However, it was the defense that propelled the Blue Devils to victory. They limited the Pioneers to just ten shots on the day, with none on goal, leaving D’Ambrosio to record zero saves in the shutout effort.

Following the pair of games, the Blue Devils are now 5-7-2 overall, and 2-2 in NEC conference play, placing them right in the thick of things.

Looking forward, Green believes they are contenders in the NEC and that they need to stick to their game plan. “Our goal is to get in the playoffs. Once we get in the playoffs, we’ll reestablish our goals. But all those goals are secondary until we reach the playoffs.”

Women’s Soccer Continues Shutout Streak

by Humera Gul

CCSU vs. Saint Francis

The Central Connecticut State University women’s soccer team beat league leader Saint Francis University 1-0, in double overtime on Friday night. The only goal of the game occurred with only 1:15 left in the second overtime period. Freshman Jenna Rae Covello, put in the game winning goal.

“Saint Francis University is an excellent team and we were better than them tonight. I thought we deserved the goal and we deserved the win,” head coach Mick D’Arcy said.

The CCSU Blue Devils improve to 6-7 overall and 2-2 in the Northeast Conference. CCSU currently has a two-game winning streak. Saint Francis University is now 6-7-1 overall and 3-1 in the Northeast Conference.

Senior Brianna Scaldaferri, sent the ball to the box and junior Charlotte Maurer, headed the ball of the cross bar. Jenna Rae Covello got the rebound and kicked it to the back of the net. This was Covello’s third goal of the season. CCSU blue devils took 21 shots total on Friday night. Saint Francis University took nine shots on that night.

The Blue Devils had come back home after starting their first three conference games on the road. They were 1-2 before this game. The crowd was large and it turned out to be a very exciting game that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

D’Arcy reiterated the importance of playing at home. Especially when a team is asked to play a stretch of games on the road, it comes with many challenges.

“To start out with three games on the road was a really tough task,” D’Arcy said. “Like in comparison, Saint Francis had their first three games at home and now they’ll have to play a couple of games on the road. It was hard last week and we were so excited to come back home.”

Junior Goalkeeper Ashley Cavanaugh, played well again. This was her sixth game where she did not allow a single goal to get pass. CCSU Blue Devils took 10 of the 21 shots at the goal. Saint Francis University’s shots weren’t at the goal at all. CCSU defense defended well against a talented team.

“We were 0-2 and are very happy to be 2-2, we have won the last two games. We have beaten the two teams we played in the NEC semifinal and final. They were two tough games but this team has got a lot of character. A hard-fought game last week and another one tonight,” D’Arcy said.

“I thought our girls played great tonight. The game was a very tough one against a talented team. It will be a quick turnaround as we prepare for Robert Morris on Sunday. I think we need rest and some ice baths and we will be ready.”

CCSU vs. Robert Morris

Central then beat Robert Morris 1-0 on Sunday. This game marks a three-game win streak for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils are now 7-7 on the year and 3-2 in the Northeast Conference. Robert Morris University drops to 3-11 overall and 1-4 in the Northeast Conference.

Junior Lexi Kochin, scored the only goal of the game. Junior Danielle Pearse, kicked the ball to Kochin with a lot of power, who then put in her second career goal. This game marked the fifth game in a row that was decided by only one score.

“We were 0-2 and needed to win some games. Another tough battle today, and we needed this win to keep the momentum going,” D’Arcy said. The Blue Devils have been on a roll after starting 0-2 in the conference play, but have just three games left before the NEC tournament.

Central saw two scoring opportunities in second half. First, senior Kelly Halligan hit a dangerous free kick off the crossbar. With just a couple of minutes left to go, freshman Erica Bardes launched a deep ball off a free kick to junior Danielle Pearse, who than redirected that ball to Kochin.

“We could’ve scored more goals. We hit the cross bar three times and there was a sequence when they cleared the ball three times in the first half. We need to be more ruthless in front of the goal. With the amount of opportunities, we had in today’s game, we need to score more goals,” D’Arcy said. The Blue devils had many opportunities to score and couldn’t capitalize early on. CCSU had 17 shots, five being on-goal. The Colonials only had five shots, with just two being on-goal.

“A lot of players impressed me today, it’s really difficult to pick one,” D’Arcy said. “Lexi came off the bench and got the goal, it was a very brave goal. She had to run the risk of getting hit by the goalkeeper and that’s bravery. She got the goal and took the hit from the goalkeeper. I thought our players played very well today and I’m proud of every single one. I think the win was very well deserved today.”

Kochin came off from the bench to win the game for her team. She is a talented player, and when the opportunity presents itself, she delivers.

CCSU junior goalkeeper Ashley Cavanaugh, played another goal free game. This is the seventh time she has kept the opposing team scoreless. Cavanaugh also recorded two saves for the day.

The team will host Wagner on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. This will be the third straight home game for the Blue Devils.

Women’s Soccer Picks Up First NEC Win

by Tyler Roaix

The Central Connecticut women’s soccer team continued Northeastern Conference play this weekend when they traveled to Fairfield to take on Sacred Heart University.

After dropping their first two games against conference opponents Fairleigh Dickinson and Mount St. Mary’s, the Blue Devils shut out Sacred Heart, 1-0, to earn their first conference victory of 2017.

Central improved their record to 5-7 overall and 1-2 in NEC play in the season. CCSU has now defeated Sacred Heart three times in a row.

Central controlled the tempo in the first half, taking six shots compared to just three from the Pioneers. Central also had three corner kick opportunities in the first half, while Sacred Heart failed to have any. In fact, Sacred Heart didn’t have a single corner kick until the 82nd minute of the game.

Despite having the chances to score, Central struggled to get the ball past Pioneer goalkeeper Nicole Sambuco.

But the Blue Devils were finally able to break through late in the first half off a goal from junior Danielle Pearse in the 43rd minute. The goal came off a cross from senior Brianna Scaldaferri. Pearse was waiting just inside the box, and was able to capitalize for the header.

The goal gives Pearse her third score on the season, while Scaldaferri earned her first assist.

“She’s had a lot of big goals for us this year,” head coach Mick D’Arcy said of Pearse. “She’s a powerful type of forward and not afraid to hit the ball. On this one, she just found herself in some space and took advantage. It was a great ball from Bri as well.”

The Pioneers came out strong in the second half, desperate to tie the game up. They tallied seven shots in the second half alone, more than double their first half total. But despite having the advantage in shot total, Sacred Heart had a lot of missed opportunities. Of their 10 total shots, they managed to land just one on goal.

Melanie DaSilva led the Sacred Heart attack with five of the team’s 10 shots. Pearse and freshman Erica Bardes each took two shots to lead the Blue Devils.

Junior goalkeeper Ashley Cavanaugh added yet another shutout to her belt, giving her five on the season. CCSU is now 5-6 with Cavanaugh in net.

“The life of a goalkeeper is a strange one,” D’Arcy said of the Blue Devils goalie. “She’s a leader back there. We have a very experienced back four all around. She’s had a lot of big saves this year, even in the games we have lost.”

Central’s 1-2 conference record puts them in sixth place in the NEC, very early in conference play. The Blue Devils have to earn a spot in the top four before the season ends to make postseason play.

“Always important to get first one,” D’Arcy said of the team’s first conference win. “We played an even game with FDU last week that could have gone either way. And then the disappointing loss to Mt. Saint Mary’s where we took 24 shots but just couldn’t score. So we had to come back home and deal with being 0-2. We couldn’t afford to lose this one.”

Central will host Saint Francis University and Robert Morris this upcoming weekend at the CCSU Soccer Field. The Blue Devils will first face the first-place Red Flash on Friday, Oct. 13th at 7 p.m.

“It’s going to be really great for us to get back home,” D’Arcy said. “The NEC schedule was not kind to us this year, playing our first three games away. But we are looking forward to the Saint Francis game. They beat us last year in the NEC Championship so we know it will be very competitive.”

The Blue Devils will then battle the last-place Colonials on Sunday, Oct. 15 at noon.