Category Archives: Soccer

Huskies Bite Blue Devils

by Brian O’Neill

Despite a crowd over capacity Friday night, UConn proved to be too much for the women’s soccer team of Central Connecticut State as they fell 3-1 to the Huskies. The loss, this season’s first at home for the Blue Devils, drops them to 1-3-1.

“Great crowd tonight, [with] over 2,000 people at the game,” said head coach Mick D’Arcy. “It’s just fantastic, it creates a good atmosphere. President [Jack] Miller put this together a couple years ago and Friday night games create a bit of a buzz.”

The Huskies (3-1-1) jumped out early when UConn’s Samantha McGuire gathered a loose ball at the top of the penalty box and put it past Central goalkeeper, Nikki Turley, in just the second minute of play.

The Blue Devils answered in minute 15, with the equalizer coming from Julie Lavoie of the assist from Charlie Branch. UConn scored the final goal of the first half when Julie Hubbard scored from close range at minute 25, with the assist coming from Riley Houle.

UConn lead the Blue Devils both in scoring and overall stats throughout the first 30 minutes. The Huskies racked up 11 shots in the first 45 minutes, with five of them being on goal. In the same time, Central had five shots, with three on net.

While the first half was controlled by UConn, the second half was a back and forth fight. UConn put backup goalie Emily Armstrong in for starter Allison Saucier at the beginning of the half. UConn and Central were about even in shots on the half — UConn edging Central 7-6.

In minute 74, UConn’s Rachel Hill — who over the summer played for the U.S. Women’s Under-20 National Team when they won the CONCACAF tournament — scored, giving the Huskies a 3-1 lead. This goal proved to be the dagger into any hope for a Blue Devil comeback.

Even with the loss, D’Arcy saw good things from the team.

“There were a lot of positives,” he said. “Defensively, we had one or two mistakes on the goals, but overall I think the defensive performance was great. This is a very, very good UConn team.”

He added: “They’re always going to cause you problems, but we dealt with it pretty well. We made chances. We scored a great goal; fantastic combination play to create the goal.”

Fan turnout was huge. The bleachers, built to seat 500, were overcrowded with Husky and Blue Devil supporters alike. Fans lined the stone wall that runs the length of the field; some even spilled onto the tops of the stands at the nearby baseball field and football field. The official tally marked attendance at 2,007.

The Blue Devils look to bounce back on Friday, Sept. 12th, when they play at home against New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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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.

“The girls obviously like seeing video of themselves playing, but they picked up on the message that we’re really not that far off,” said D’Arcy. “Our record is hard to look at and that’s the looking [yourself] in the mirror thing.”

Tesa McKibben scored in the 72nd minute on a ball that was threaded into the goal box by Beatriz Maros de Carvalho. Central’s goalkeeper Nikola Deiter made a valiant effort to dive and make the save, but McKibben was able to touch the ball first and put the ball into the back of the net to reduce the deficit to one goal. Despite McKibben’s goal and SFU’s attempt late in the game to tie the game, the Blue Devils held on and recorded their first win since Oct. 4.

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute when Morgan Santoro took advantage of the space she was given and fired a shot with the wind at her back from beyond 18 yards into the upper right portion of the goal for her second goal of the season.

“We were all over Morgan in the first half for not taking the shot. We talked to her at halftime about stepping up and taking the shot if they don’t respect you,” said D’Arcy.

A succession of controversial plays led to Claire Walsh’s first goal of the season which gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead early in the second half. Nikki Kureczka struck a ball from half field that bounced deep into the penalty box. Kerriann Welch headed the ball off the left goal post and simultaneously was violently clotheslined by SFU’s goalkeeper, Abbey Collins.

Welch and Collins fell to the pitch and the referee blew his whistle. Both coaches yelled across the field pleading their case to the referee. Some time passed before Central was awarded a penalty kick by the referee, who had no explanation when SFU’s coach, Brenda van Stralen, questioned why he gave the Blue Devils a penalty kick.

Jewel Robinson stepped up and struck the ball, Collins dove left and made a spectacular save on the penalty kick. The ball rolled over the end line and Central was given a corner kick in the 48th minute. Tori Sousa placed a dangerous cross to the near post which was headed by a Red Flash defender directly to Walsh’s feet and she buried the ball into the back of the net.

“The referee rightfully called a penalty kick and it was disappointing not putting the penalty away, but that was the turning point of the game,” said D’Arcy. “We could have felt sorry for ourselves, but we had a corner kick and we were a little bit hungrier inside the six-yard box. Claire finished the ball that came out.”

Central outshot SFU 9-7 in the first half and 21-10 for the game.

“The reality is we’re creating chances and we’ve been competitive in all of our conference games. Today we went out and played very well and made lots of chances and put some of them away.”

Deiter who has yet to record a shutout saved one shot in 90 minutes. Through 14 games Deiter has totaled 66 saves, a save percentage of .717 and a goals against average of 1.95.

On Wednesday evening Central hosted Boston College who entered the game ranked 30th in the NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI. The Blue Devils were swarmed by the Eagles 7-0.

Despite the final score, CCSU held their own in the first 20 minutes of the match. Central had four scoring chances early in the first half before the game became out of reach. The Blue Devils best chance in the match came on a breakaway by Sousa who was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.

Santoro who scored the game winning goal versus SFU on Sunday was named NEC Co-Rookie of the week for the second time this season.

The Blue Devils will play their next three games on the road versus Fairleigh Dickinson, Mount St. Mary’s and Bryant before they wrap up the regular season on Nov. 3 versus Wagner at noon.