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Men’s Soccer Shocked In Semifinals

By Corey Pollnow
Heading into the NEC semifinals on Friday versus St. Francis Brooklyn, the Central Men’s soccer team knew they would be playing without one of their captains, Stephen Walmsley.
Then 15 minutes before kick-off, the NEC regular season champions were hit with another blow. Central’s second captain, senior Jose Gamboa, discovered he was not cleared by the trainer to play. Gamboa and Walmsley had suffered concussions in the regular season finale against Bryant.
St. Francis Brooklyn had been on the losing end in the previous two match-ups versus CCSU, and the Terriers had not won the NEC tournament since 1998. However, St. Francis Brooklyn shocked the Blue Devils 2-0, and went on to win the championship 3-2 in overtime versus Bryant Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow when you lose both of your captains,” said Coach Shaun Green.
Kevin Correa scored his second goal in the 73rd minute when Central’s outside defensive back, Neekoli Calderon, momentarily lost Correa on a give and go from Gabriel Bagot. The mental mistake allowed Correa to gain enough distance to receive the ball deep in the penalty box, dribble once and power the shot past Central’s goalkeeper, Joe Abele.
“The second goal killed us,” said senior, Manny Nobre.
In the 61st minute Correa bent a shot over Central’s wall and past Abele. It was Correa’s first goal of the game and came off a free kick from 19 yards away on the right portion of the pitch.
“I thought we left the goal a little bit too much open on the left hand side,” said Green.
Central’s best scoring opportunity came in the 54th minute when Ben Knight curled a ball over three Terriers defenders, but the ball skimmed across the top of the crossbar and out of bounds.
“I thought Central came out and played great to start the second half and put us under pressure,” said Tom Giovatto, the Terriers head coach. “But Kevin got us two big goals.”
Abele saved three of St. Francis Brooklyn’s five shots on goal. The junior finishes the season with 66 saves, a save percentage of .786 and a goals against average of 1.24.
The Blue Devils and Terriers both tallied 12 shots for the game.
“We lost two keys players, Jose and Walsmey, but the other guys have to step in and do their job,” said Eddy Bogle.
On Friday evening Conor Qualter was named to the NEC All-Conference First team and received Rookie of the Year at the NEC banquet.
Central also had five players selected to the NEC All-Conference Second Team – Zach Zurita, Bogle, Abele, Walmsley, and Gamboa.
Green was named NEC Coach of the Year and also earned his 250th victory this season.
“Were proud of the season we had,” said Green, who recorded his third NEC Regular Season Championship this season in his 29th year at Central as head coach. “We thought this would be a two year rebuilding process, losing seven starters from last year. We thought we would nearly get into the playoffs, but we really excelled in our expectations.”

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Men’s Soccer Wins NEC And Earns Home Field

By Corey Pollnow
Last season the Central Men’s soccer team was unable to participate in the Northeast Conference tournament because of sub-standard APR scores, despite finishing fourth in the standings. This year the Blue Devils were predicted to finish second in the NEC preseason soccer poll, but on Friday evening they proved the pundits wrong and defeated St. Francis (Pa.) 1-0 to win the NEC regular season championship.
As a result of winning the NEC regular season championship, Central will host the NEC tournament on Nov. 15 and 17 for the first time since Shaun Green became head coach in 1985. With an upstanding record of 6-0 in the NEC (9-7-1 overall) and one game remaining in the regular season versus Bryant, CCSU has the opportunity to finish undefeated in conference play.
“We worked so hard last year and it was sad that we couldn’t go to the tournament. It means a little bit extra to win it tonight,” said Steven Walmsley after clinching the first seed and home field the Red Flash.
The game winning goal versus SFU was setup by a sequence of passes which led to Zach Zurita being fouled in the penalty box in the 56th minute. The referee awarded Central a penalty kick and Green chose his sure footed senior Manny Nobre to seal the victory under pressure. Green knew all along that Nobre would be taking the penalty kick. “I texted Manny last night and I told him I had a dream he was going to score. I wanted to beef him up a bit, but I knew he was going to take the kick anyway because I have a lot of confidence in him,” said Green.
“I started running up to the ball looking to the left and before I went to take it I shifted my body to the right,” said Nobre who struck the ball into the bottom left of the goal and fooled SFU’s goalkeeper, Daniel Valcicak, into diving to the wrong side of the net.
Josef Abele saved four shots to earn his seventh save of the season and he enters the last week of regular season play ranked 19th in the country with a save percentage of .831. “We’re not league champs without Joe,” said Zurita.
Seniors Jose Gamboa, Eddy Bogle, and Nobre were honored prior to their 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon against Robert Morris. Bogle scored his fifth goal of the season and more importantly, the game winning goal in the 54 minute of play.
Neco Brett scored his 13th goal of the season for Robert Morris in the 59th minute to reduce the deficit to one goal. Despite a late flurry of shots and chances from Robert Morris, the Blue Devils were able to hold on for the victory. Abele saved eight shots in 90 minutes and has 59 saves in 13 games this season.
Follow the Blue Devils live stream on NEC Front Row as they look to finish the season with a perfect 7-0 conference record on Sunday at 1 p.m. versus Bryant.

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Women’s Soccer Clinches NEC Tournament Berth

By Corey Pollnow
It was win or go home for the Central Women’s soccer team on Sunday afternoon versus Wagner in a game that had the winner earning a bid to the Northeast Conference tournament and the loser missing out on the postseason.
The Blue Devils went into the locker room down 1-0 to the Seahawks, but responded in the second half with three unanswered goals on senior day to defeat Wagner 3-1. Central clinched the fourth seed and will face off against the first seeded St. Francis Red Flash in the NEC tournament.
“It was a bit of a sucker punch before halftime,” said Coach Mick D’Arcy. “At halftime the message was believe in yourself and believe in your teammates. You’re going to get this done.”
“The seniors have fallen short the past couple years and not gone to the tournament,” said Coach Mick D’Arcy. “It means the world to them to be able to go to the tournament.”
In the 70th minute Morgan Santoro crossed the ball to Kerriann Welch directly in front of the goal. Welch tipped the ball to Kelly Halligan, who finished the play to give Central a 3-1 lead.
“I don’t remember who kicked it over, but I knew I had to put it away,” said Welch.
The Blue Devils took a 2-1 lead one minute earlier in the 69th minute off a free kick that was struck perfectly by Rachel Cerrone into the upper left corner of the goal from 30 yards out.
“Last week a couple girls and I stayed after practice and took a bunch of long shots and I think I made one out of forty. But, we got the free kick and Tori looked at me and said, ‘Do you want to take it?’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’ And it went in.”
Central tied the game up at one in the 49th minute when Nikki Kureczka served a ball into the penalty box that bounced once and Welch carefully volleyed the ball over the head of Wagner’s goalkeeper, Katie Marcy.
Wagner was the first team on the scoreboard three minutes before halftime. However, it was their only goal of the game. Central’s goalkeeper Nikola Deiter punched the ball away from the Blue Devil goal off a corner kick, but the ball went directly to Gabrielle Davis who struck the ball past a group of players and into the net.
Deiter finished the game with five saves and through 18 games she has a save percentage of .743 and a goals against average of 1.67.
The Blue Devils finish the regular season with a 5-3 record in the NEC and an overall record of 7-11.
“The seniors have fallen short the past couple years and not gone to the tournament,” said Coach Mick D’Arcy. “It means the world to them to be able to go to the tournament.”
This will be Central’s first berth into the NEC tournament since 2010. “The seniors have fallen short the past couple years and not gone to the tournament,” said Coach Mick D’Arcy. “It means the world to them to be able to go to the tournament.”
Central will travel to play St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday in the semifinals of the NEC tournament – the time of the game has yet to be announced.

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Men’s Soccer Climbs To Top Of NEC Standings

By Jaimie Leasure

The Central Connecticut Men’s soccer team came out on top versus Saint Francis Brooklyn 1-0 on Friday night. The win brings the team’s record to 7-6-1 and 4-0 in the Northeast Conference.
Freddy Metellus scored the game winning goal with 24 minutes left in the second period. Senior Manny Nobre supplied Metellus with the ball and with one shot scored the only goal of the game.
“We started off sluggish in the first half,” said Coach Green. “We let them in the game with us, at halftime we were 50/50. “
After halftime, the team came out with a different spirit. During their break, Coach Green told his players, “Guys, we have to shut them down, if we are going to make it to the playoffs, we have to do it in the next 45 minutes.”
During the second half, junior Keir Hannity put some energy into the midfield. Hannity’s parents traveled all the way from England to watch their son’s game.
Senior Eddy Bogle and Metellus worked hard together throughout the game.
“This was the best second half the team has had this season,” said Coach Green.
Goalkeeper, Josef Abele, recorded his sixth shutout of the season versus St. Francis Brooklyn.
Central’s next game will be Friday, November 1 against Saint Francis (Pa.) at 7 p.m. “Saint Francis is #1 in the region and #2 in the conference. If we’re going to win the championship we need to beat Saint Francis,” said Coach Green.

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Women’s Soccer Splits Home Stand

By Corey Pollnow

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NEW BRITAIN, CONN. –

On many occasions Coach Mick D’Arcy has voiced his disappointment and frustration with the team’s results this season, but their match on Sunday afternoon versus St. Francis U. had the Central women’s soccer coach feeling differently.

Prior to the game D’Arcy played a motivational video in the locker room with highlights of the team’s missed scoring opportunities combined with Al Pacino’s ‘game of inches’ speech from the movie “Any Given Sunday”. The Blue Devils responded with a 2-1 win and improved to 2-2 in the NEC (4-10 overall). Central handed the Red Flash (8-7-1, 4-1-0 NEC) their first conference loss of the season.

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Women’s Soccer Scores For Wrong Team

Womens soccer

By Corey Pollnow

NEW BRITAIN, CONN. –

The Central women’s soccer team lost 1-0 on Sunday afternoon to LIU Brooklyn on a goal the Blue Devils put into their own net.

The goal came from a throw in by the Blackbirds that casually bounced off LIU’s Allison King’s head and into the penalty box. Nikola Deiter, Central’s goalkeeper, came out to save the ball, but a miscommunication between Deiter and defender Jewel Robinson resulted in Robinson attempting to trap the ball using her chest but accidentally deflected the ball into Central’s net.

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