Tag Archives: ccsu men’s soccer

CCSU Men’s Soccer 2-0 St. Francis (PA)

By Danny Contreras

The CCSU men’s soccer team defeated the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash 2-0, following an amazing display of both possession and defensive soccer.

The goals were scored in the first half courtesy of Steven Bailey’s curler and Aaron Durr’s header. This game also marked the second straight clean shutout for Anthony Occhialini and his third overall.

“I think we’re playing great defense right now, you can’t expect much from the other team when we’re getting shootouts,” said Head Coach Shaun Green. “We allowed one at Monmouth last week, and championships are won on defense. Aaron Durr stepped it up; Bailey stepped it up, too. We saw the first goal, from right-back position. For me the one that stood out was Occhialini, he’s been like that all season. But you know, you can see the benefits of Coach Christian Benjamin, who’s challenged him and gotten him to where he is right now.”

CCSU came into the game following a thrashing of Robert Morris Friday night. With the momentum still going, CCSU played some amazing possession football from the get-go.

At two minutes Thomas Obasi received a corner from the right and dribbled it past two Red Flash defenders to take a shot from a tight angle; the effort went into the hands of the SFPA, Darius Motazed.

A remarkable display of passing between defenders, Mamoudou Obiate and Durr saw them get rid of half the Red Flash team until they moved down the 50- yard line into a space in the right side.

Reece Wilson then took the ball down the middle of the field, following a cross from Obasi, shooting a driver from the center which went safely into the hands of the SFPA keeper.

“I like how Jesse Menzies is playing. He is very creative on the ball. But also, Thomas Obasi; he didn’t play at his best today but he is very creative on the field,” said Green.

Steven Bailey terrorized the keeper with an amazing right footed effort; the curling of the ball gave it enough momentum for it to come out of the keeper’s hand and into the goal giving CCSU a 1-0 lead over the Red Flash.

The game was relatively quiet for the next 15 minutes until a seemingly out-of-nowhere goal was scored by Durr. Coming off a free-kick from Menzies, Durr headed the ball from the left side of the goal into the bottom right corner, giving the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead over SFPA.

The rest of the half was controlled by the Blue Devils. At the 42 minute mark, captain Ogmen Stamenkovik came out injured after a harsh tackle from a Red Flash defender left him on the ground writhing in pain.

Minutes later, on 44 minutes, it was Red Flash’s Wayne Tiller who came out with a yellow card after a tackle on a CCSU defender. The first half finished with CCSU leading 2-0.

With a secure two goal cushion, the Blue Devils went into defensive mode and switched to an unconventional, defense minded formation, 4-1-4-1. The formation allowed the CCSU back for some breathing time. The crowded midfield meant that the Red Flash could not create chances but also meant lack of firepower upfront.

As the game wore on, Occhialini’s presence grew stronger and his in-game heroics kept CCSU in the match. Every now and then the Red Flash would find some pockets in the field, behind the defense and creating chances. At 54 minutes Tiller combined with Makala Hairston in the 6-yard box to take three continuous shots on goal, all of which were saved by Occhialini.

He was tested again by Tiller and Kolorac, but they couldn’t put it behind the reach of Occhialini who saved both of them with a catch.

“The thing about this team is that they’re the best bunch of players I’ve ever had in terms of personality,” said Green. “They’re just great to be around. You know, they’re humble, no super-stars, no egos. They’ve got great personality and you can tell in the field, there’s no bitching around, everyone is doing their hard work.”

Tiller got a final chance to put St. Francis back into the game, but wasted his effort with a high bar that didn’t threaten CCSU.

The Blue Devils return home after a short road stint, on Oct. 20 at Willowbrook Park against Long Island at 7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Still Goalless in Senior Day Celebration

By Kenny Barto

The CCSU men’s soccer (3-9-2, 0-5-2 NEC) celebrated senior day with a 1-0 loss to Sacred Heart on Sunday, extending their goalless streak to seven games and an accumulated 670 minutes.

“I think the results haven’t been reflecting the way we’ve been playing,” Green said. “We really need a goal scorer, and the way we’ve played have changed our recruiting dynamics a little bit. We’re starting to look less internationally, and instead focusing more close to home.”

The team honored six seniors in their last home game prior to Sunday’s match. Robert Cavener, Connor Smith, Persis Oware, Joseph Laryea, Jared Spieker, and Blaine Veldhuis all saw action in their final home game.

“I think our seniors did great today,” said Green. “Cavener played quite well, Blaine, Jared Spieker, all a great bunch of guys and we’ll definitely miss them when this year comes to an end.”

CCSU had chances throughout the game, but like all season, the team was unable to bury any of them. In the entire first half, there was one shot on goal, which came on a free kick by Cavener in the 23rd minute.

The second shot on net came from Terrell Whitting in the 53rd minute, who struggled to get his full power into the shot from the top of the box due to the Pioneers strong defense. Whitting played a great game, getting behind the defense on a few occasions, but struggled to get the perfect setup pass from his teammates.

“Terrell is a great player,” said Green. “He’s a sophomore now, transferred from a great UConn program, and he’s been putting himself into those positions all year, he had two goals against Yale, and the game winner against Fordham, he’s truly a good player with lots of potential.”

Sacred Heart was able to get on the board in the 77th minute, when a loose ball was corralled by Marcello Castro on the left side of the box, who was able to score with little difficulty.

CCSU would get lucky, however, as SHU’s Konstantino Dekaneas would go in for a strong tackle that sent a CCSU midfielder to the ground. Referee Boris Medvedev instantly went for the yellow card, which was Dekaneas’ second of the game, which is an automatic ejection.

With a one-man advantage, CCSU launched a full-scale attack on the SHU defense.  However, the Pioneers did not falter, and were able to handle the only two shots attempted in the final seven minutes.

The Blue Devils showed obvious signs of frustration during the game, which is a “sign of effort” according to Coach Green.

“If they’re not frustrated, then I’m worried about them,” said Green. “This is Division one athletics, and they’re supposed to get frustrated.”

Playing in his final home game, Cavener was eager to talk about his memories at CCSU.

“It was only four years, and it went by so quick,” said Cavener, a co-captain. “It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were in the Sweet Sixteen, back in 2007… I’ve got that and so many other memories to take away from this place, and I’ll never forget any of them.”

Cavener, who has been playing with a protective mask due to his broken nose, showed a rare sign of frustration by throwing it down on the ground after the game. Despite a bit of anger, Cavener wasn’t ready to give up on the season with three games left.

“We were just in the locker room talking, and nobody’s got their heads down,” said Cavener. “Even though the six seniors have only three games left, we’re ready to go out and try to win. This is a great team, and a great group of guys, and I’ll definitely miss them.”

CCSU finishes off the season on the road, facing the top-ranked Long Island on the Oct. 29, followed by St. Francis (PA) and Quinnipiac on the Oct. 31 and Nov.5  respectively.

Men’s Soccer Remains Goalless Against FDU

By Danny Contreras

A defensive blunder from CCSU followed by a strike from Farleigh Dickinson University midfielder Dominic Reinold on the 39th minute was enough to see CCSU keep its winless streak in.

The loss extended the CCSU winless streak to six matches and kept them in the bottom of the NEC league with just two points out of a possible 18 from six games.

“Look, the players are in their entirety human, we cannot expect them to not make mistakes. But we can say that we were the better team out there for ninety minutes. We created chances and we dominated with possession. We just gotta believe in the win, regroup and prepare for the next game,” said Head Coach Shaun Green.

The game started uneventfully with both teams sharing possession, passing the ball around not trying to attack each others’ goal — keeping the ball in the midfield. Then on the fifth minute, CCSU defender Ian Smurthwaite made a run down the left flank and tested the FDU goalkeeper, Jacob Lissek, with a curling ball directed at the right post, which was denied by a two handed save.

CCSU’s momentum was shortly broken when the referee called a CCSU midfielder for a “stud jump.”

Awarded a free-kick, the Knights’ went into the CCSU box to try and score an early goal. The ball was met by the feet of FDU’s Michael Calderon who passed it back from the box. The rebound was received by FDU and crossed at midfield but was blocked by CCSU senior, Robert Cavener, who was awarded a free kick off a FDU dive.

Following the free kick, the ball was won on the midfield by Menzies who made a through ball for CCSU striker Terrell Whitting, who ran down the center with pressure from FDU. Whitting took the shot, striking the ball a little too low, elevating it past the crossbar, out for the goal kick.

“We do not have natural wingers in our team and therefore this is something that we cannot pursue if we want to get wins. We have to play at our team’s strength and that’s why we are in the pursuit of a diamond formation in the midfield for that we can create more chances for ourselves,” said Green.

Minutes later, a handball was called against FDU. The shot was taken by CCSU’s Eduardo Ortiz, with little outcome.

On the 22nd minute a CCSU handball was called awarding the Knights a free-kick. The kick was short and intercepted by Whitting.

Only yards away from the goal kick line, Whitting pulled a backward pass for any CCSU player in the box. Unfortunately, there were none and Whitting became frustrated at the lack of support.

“Frustration is part of the game,” said Coach Green, “you cannot expect the players to be of some other kind of nature and not get frustrated when things don’t go their way. They’re still human.”

A break came for FDU as Dominic Reinold took a shot from ten yards out; the effort was saved by Occhialini. The punted the ball down the field, was received by Connor Smith who then passed it back in order to start an attack.

Soon after, Cavener received the ball on the left with pressure. Trying to clear the ball away from danger, he made a pass to Occhiliani, but the pass was too strong and it bounced off the keeper’s feet.

Reinold capitalized on this and made a run for the ball. The CCSU keeper and FDU’s midfielder raced for the ball, but it was ultimately Reinold’s feet that got to it first giving the Knights the lead 1-0, with five minutes remaining.

CCSU started the half explosively. Whitting won the ball in the FDU half and took a low shot on goal but the effort was saved. Minutes later it was the CCSU defense that joined the attack.

With time running down and CCSU not capitalizing on their chances, the final chance for CCSU to win the match came in the form of Eduardo Ortiz who received a cross from Smith, and struck the ball with no success.

CCSU came up short once again on Sunday to Sacred Heart, losing 1-0.

Men’s Soccer Falls to #10 Monmouth

By Kenny Barto

The CCSU men’s soccer team faced a nationally ranked opponent on Sunday, and was shut out 1-0 in their second Northeast Conference game of the year. The 10th ranked Monmouth Hawks came to Arute Field as the highest ranked team to step on campus in any sport, and they proved difficult to deal with.

“They’re an outstanding team,” said head coach Shaun Green. “They were fourth in the country last week, and I think anyone who watched the whole game thought it was an even one.”

The Blue Devils were flustered by the Hawks defense the entire game, and were only able to get one shot on goal, which came in the 16th minute by Gamba Palavicini. On the other side, Monmouth scattered five shots on goal, two in the first and three in the second.

The first half proved to be quiet, most of the play happening in the midfield. Both teams were physical and head referee Guido Gonzales let them play.

The action in the second half didn’t seem to change, as the midfield seemed to be where most of the game was taking place. Monmouth seemed to have an edge in time of possession, and Hawks finally got their chance in the 68th minute. Forward Chase Barbieri passed it down the right side of the field to RJ Allen, who was able to juke around the CCSU defender and score on a tough angle.

Down 1-0, the Blue Devils kept making attempts to push downfield, but could not get passed the tough Monmouth defense that has faced tough teams such as West Virginia and Seton Hall. Their best opportunity came in the 85th minute when a pass by captain Connor Smith found Shawn Buchanan in the box. Buchanan was unable to get the ball on net, as the ball went a few feet wide of the post.

In the 90th minute, Connor Smith became frustrated after a ruling on a foul against CCSU, and immediately started yelling at the head referee. He was subsequently given two yellow cards, a mandatory ejection and suspension of one game.

“I won’t tolerate that kind of lack of control and he’ll be suspended, even more than what he’ll get for that card,” said Green. “It’s not what I’m about as a coach; you’ve got to keep your cool.”

Although it’s undetermined how long Smith will be out, it’s likely he will not play in their next two road games at Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA).

Although the Blue Devils could not pull off the upset, coach Green was encouraged what he saw in his team.

“I’m really happy with our defense, our midfield played really well and our goalkeeping was fantastic,” he said. “We’re not happy with the result, but we’re definitely progressing in terms of performance.”

With the loss, CCSU falls to 3-6 on the season and 0-2 in NEC action.

“We’re not letting it affect our spirit,” said Green. “I think our work ethic isn’t getting reflected into the results we’ve been getting, but I’m happy with how we’ve been playing.”

The Blue Devils won’t return home until October 17th, after they hit the road to Pennsylvania to face Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA).

Soccer Tops Fordham In Double Overtime

By Danny Contreras

After losing their opening home game to Siena this past Wednesday 5-3, CCSU (3-4, 0-0 NEC) defeated Fordham University (3-4) in overtime after an early scare of 2-1.

“We’ve had a tough away schedule. Last game we gave four goals in the second half and we made some changes, but everyone has the time to play and that’s what’s important,” said Captain Robert Cavener.

The game started with kick-off for CCSU who quickly passed the ball to the backline and began a third man release attack on Fordham. CCSU’s centre defender Jared Speeker brought the ball down the middle and passed it Cavener who brought the ball further down the Fordham backline before passing it to the right midfield for Souleymane Sanogo. The midfielder brought the ball down the right and crossed it for the penetrating forward, Eduardo Ortiz, who took a shot on goal that was brilliantly saved by the Fordham goalkeeper.

The break from Fordham came from this attack when their goalkeeper, Phil Ferrantello, punted the ball down the field, behind the midfielders and was picked up by Fordham’s Tim Richardson who managed to control it until he got support from the one of his own midfielders, Andre Seidenthal, who received a through ball from Richardson and put the ball past the goalkeeper. The counterattack goal came just after two minutes into the game and the Rams were up one-nil putting an early pressure on the Blue Devils.

“I think we gotta stop giving early goals and stop digging ourselves outta a hole. They [Fordham University] scored in the worst possible time, early in the game, taking away our steam. But I think we responded well, we scored in the worst possible time for them, before half time, which gave us momentum,” said Coach Green.

The first half of the game went fairly quiet; CCSU kept its original 4-3-3 formation while Fordham adapted a 5-4-1 in order to counter attack the attacking style of CCSU. The Blue Devils had a couple of chances to tie soon after the first goal, but was unable to put it past the net.

Coach Green brought in left back Shawn Buchanan to add depth to the game because CCSU were outshot by Fordham and the players were becoming too impatient. The break came for CCSU when Buchanan brought the ball down the backline from the left and changed places with Joel Diamand by passing the ball towards him and penetrating the backline. Diamand returned the favor with a through ball for Buchanan, who put the ball past the goalkeeper for his first career home goal and a tie game.

In the second half CCSU became more comfortable in the field and passed the ball fluidly from midfield to backline to midfield to striker. They tested the Rams goalkeeper repeatedly gaining five corner kicks in less than 15 minutes. The Blue Devils brought hell to Willow Brook Park.

On minute 60 CCSU’s Terrel Whitting was tackled by a Rams defender after a build play on the right from CCSU. The defender stepped on his ankle with Whitting on the floor holding it in pain. He was subbed out ending the second half uneventfully, signaling the beginning of overtime.

Morale was high for CCSU, who became really comfortable in the second half and were only denied by the excellent game play of the Rams’ keeper. The first half of overtime ended with no goals.

The second half started essentially the same way as the first half of overtime ended: CCSU with most possession. CCSU lacked the precision to put the ball behind the net, and goals went above the post or wide.

Buchanan had a great shot on goal, but was blocked by the Rams goalkeeper. Whitting received the rebound and took the ball behind the post for the win. The team celebrated by running onto the field and jumping on top of the goal scorer.

“It was fantastic; it was important game for us because it’s our last one before the conference games. And coming off two tough loses we’re looking to add leadership into the team and we challenged our captains to stand up; it was their team and it’s their last season,” Coach Green said.

CCSU plays again on Friday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. against Mount St. Mary’s.