|Title:||Head Women's Soccer Coach|
Mick D'Arcy enters his 13th season as the head coach of the Central Connecticut women's soccer program. Over the last 12 seasons, D'Arcy has compiled a 126-92-23 record, making him the winningest coach in program history. He has led his team to the NCAA Tournament five times and has been honored as Northeast Conference Coach of the Year four times.
In 2010, the Blue Devils reached the NEC Tournament for the ninth consecutive year with D'Arcy at the helm. In those nine seasons, the Blue Devils have won five NEC Championships, earning a trip to the NCAA Women's College Cup in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008. In 2003, he led the Blue Devils to the first ever NCAA Tournament game victory in any sport in the school's Division I history.
The 2010 squad was led by five student-athletes who earned All-NEC selections with D'Arcy's guidance. In addition to on the field success the 2010 squad earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Academic Award, it was also the ninth consecutive year the Central earned the honor.
In 2009, the Blue Devils proved once again to be among the elite programs in the NEC, winning the regular season Championship. At the annual end of season awards banquet Coach D'Arcy collected his fourth Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honor, after a regular season which saw the Blue Devils run the conference slate undefeated. In addition to Coach D'Arcy, several players were honored including Leah Blayney who was named NEC Player of the Year. In all five players were named All-NEC, Blayney, Karise Hilt, and Beth Lloyd to the first team and Brittney Jackson and Caity Casey to the second team.
D'Arcy reached a milestone when the Blue Devils captured their seventh overall NEC title in 2008. The 1-0 shutout win over Long Island in the NEC Championship game was the 100th victory of his career. The 2008 squad that won the NEC title was the seventh straight team to qualify for the NEC Tournament, the second-longest active streak in the league. Six Blue Devils were named All-Conference, including four on the first team. In addition, Clio Tregear and Karise Hilt were named to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region squad, and Hilt was also named All-New England. The Blue Devils posted a 12-7-4 overall mark in 2008, including a 7-2 record in NEC play.
In 2007 CCSU senior Megan McClements was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year following the season and five Blue Devils were named to the all-conference teams. The Blue Devils were 9-9-1 overall and 6-3 in league action.
In 2005, D'Arcy collected his third Northeast Conference Coach of the Year honor, leading the team to a program-record 17 wins. D'Arcy added to his 2002 and 2003 awards while his players tacked on additional individual accolades. Sophie Hopper earned the program's fourth Northeast Conference Player of the Year award in five seasons, joining Denise Thomas (2001) and Kelly Shimmin (2002 & 2003), and Ashley Ferra garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors. In addition, D'Arcy has coached two Rookies of the Year (Denise Thomas in 2000 and Jessica McCavanagh in 2003), while 16 players have appeared a combined 26 times on the All-NEC first team.
Not only has D'Arcy successfully recruited top players, he also develops players to reach their highest potential. After two years playing for CCSU, Thomas made her international debut for the Irish Women's National Team and has since become a consistent starter for the team. Jane McFarlane, D'Arcy's team captain and leading goal scorer in 2000, also made her international debut in 2002 for the Scottish National Women's Soccer Team. McFarlane and Thomas bring CCSU's tally of full international players to five. Jackie Hadden and Shimmin played for the Australian and English National Teams, respectively, while Hannah Bromley plays for New Zealand, a team which competed in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.
D'Arcy also began his international coaching career in 2004,
working with the U.S. Youth International teams. He was as an
assistant coach for the U-19 U.S. National
"It was a great experience," he said. "I enjoyed working with Head Coach Mark Krikorian again, and it was a thrill to work with some of the best young players in the world."
In July 2004, D'Arcy was invited to work with the U.S. U-21 National Team as they prepared for the Nordic Cup. In August 2005, D'Arcy participated in an accelerated coaching education program presented by the Dutch National Soccer Federation (KNVB). He furthered his international coaching career, working with the U.S. U-17 National team, in the spring of 2006.
Additionally, D'Arcy holds his players to a high standard of achievement off the field. The 2003 and 2004 Blue Devils earned academic recognition from Central for the highest team GPA. In 2003 and 2004 goalkeeper Sabrina Mariani was named NEC Women's Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year, starting a streak of four straight Blue Devil honorees. Ferra won the award in 2005, while McCavanagh took home the hardware in 2006. In 2008 it was goalkeeper Erin Herd winning the honor, giving the Blue Devils five of the last six award winners.
Mariani earned Verizon Academic All-District Women's Soccer First Team honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was named to the Verizon Academic All-American Third Team in 2003 and 2004. Ferra and McCavanagh followed suit again. The former earned ESPN the Magazine All-District First Team honors in 2005. McCavanagh picked up an all-district selection in 2006. The Blue Devils have earned seven straight NSCAA/adidas Team Academic Awards.
Prior to arriving at CCSU, D'Arcy was the men's and women's
assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Hartford.
While at Hartford, D'Arcy went to the NCAA Elite Eight twice, once
with the men and once with the women. D'Arcy was also the
National Director for Tony DiCicco's SoccerPlus Goalkeeper
"I learned a lot from Tony," D'Arcy said. "He is a pioneer of coaching women's soccer. A lot of my coaching philosophy was developed from the lessons learned working with Tony at SoccerPlus and with Mark (Krikorian) at Hartford."
D'Arcy's first taste of college coaching was as a Graduate Assistant at Springfield College with both the men's and women's soccer teams. D'Arcy holds his "A" coaching license from U.S. Soccer, the Advance National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), and a "B" license from UEFA (Europe's soccer governing body). Currently, D'Arcy instructs U.S. Soccer coaching courses in Connecticut. He is also on the Northeast Conference women's soccer committee and the ECAC tournament selection committee.
A native of Ireland, he has spent most of his life around soccer. His father Eamonn was a professional soccer player in Ireland and England and coached the Irish National Women's Soccer team. "My parents have been the greatest influences on my soccer career," D'Arcy said. "My dad has always been my mentor. He shared his love for the game with me while my mother has always taught me how to keep the game in perspective."
Jennifer Prozzo enters her ninth season with the Blue Devil
coaching staff. She got to know the program in 2003 while
volunteering as an assistant coach for the second half of the
season. Prozzo came to Central after a successful career as a
professional player in the Women's United Soccer Association
Prozzo played with the WUSA's Philadelphia Charge starting in the 2001 inaugural season. As a central defender for the Charge, she started and played all 90 minutes of every game but one in her three-year career. She was named captain of the team at the end of her first season and remained co-captain for the following two years. In 2002, Prozzo was one of three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year. She was also chosen as a First Team All-WUSA player and was a starter for the North All-Star team. She recorded three goals and five assists during her three years on the Charge and led her team to the semifinals of the WUSA Founders Cup two years in a row.
After the WUSA suspended operations in the fall of 2003, Prozzo joined the Western Massachusetts Lady Pioneers of the W-1 League. She was named captain of the team and was selected to the All-Conference first team. She also played for the Long Island Lady Riders of the W-1 League from 1997-2000. With the Riders, she was the team captain and was selected to the W-1 League All-Star team.
Prozzo attended the University of Connecticut from 1995-1999, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology/exercise science. She finished her collegiate career with 16 goals and 64 assists for 96 points in 97 games. She is the all-time career record holder for assists at UConn. A Huntington, NY native, Prozzo is also ranked sixth in games played and 11th all-time in career points. She was a finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club Award and Soccer Buzz's Player of the Year (1998). The midfielder/defender graduated in 1999 with the school record for assists as a sophomore (23) and as a junior (22). Her sophomore year total is also the best single-season total in school history. Prozzo received the team MVP award in 1997 and earned First Team All-Big East, All-Northeast, and All-New England honors three times during her tenure with the Huskies.
Prozzo graduated from Huntington High School in 1995. While at Huntington, she was named All-America and All-East Region while also sharing the honors for New York State Co-Player of the Year with her twin sister, Margaret, who coaches at the University of Connecticut. She holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) coaching diploma and has coached all ages in the youth and premier programs in New York, Philadelphia and Connecticut. She is also a staff member with the FSA/SoccerPlus Premier Club in Farmington, CT.
Shawn Kelly embarks on his 12th year as part of the Blue Devil
coaching staff, for which he primarily works with the goalkeepers.
Kelly brings a wealth of collegiate coaching experience, having
worked with the University of Hartford, Trinity College and
Central's men's program in the five years prior to joining the
women's soccer coaching staff.
Over the past nine seasons with the Blue Devils, Kelly has guided three of the top goalkeepers in CCSU history. Under Kelly's tutelage, Sabrina Mariani, Ashley Ferra and Erin Herd each won Northeast Conference Tournament MVP awards on their way to leading the Blue Devils to Northeast Conference Championships.
Herd was a first team all-conference selection in 2008 while Ferra garnered an all-conference first team selection and a second team All-New England honor during her time in New Britain. In addition, Ferra established new program records for most shutouts (10) and fewest goals allowed (15) in a season in 2005, breaking Mariani's marks of eight shutouts and 17 goals allowed. Herd posted eight of the team's 12 shutouts a year ago, and was 8-3-4 in goal as a senior.
Kelly played collegiately at Quinnipiac University and spent time as a member of the the Glastonbury Celtic club team. Currently, Kelly is the General Manager for Tony DiCicco's SoccerPlus Camps, which is based in Farmington, CT.
Eleri Earnshaw is entering her second full season as
an assistant coach for the Blue Devils. She joined the staff
during the spring semester of 2010.
Earnshaw was an All-Northeast Conference Second Team selection in 2007 as a player at Long Island. She went on to coach for the Blackbirds for two seasons in 2008 and 2009.
Earnshaw played her first three collegiate seasons at Iona College. A three-year starter for the Gaels, Earnshaw started all 58 games in which she appeared. A three-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference pick, she tallied four goals and four assists during her career. As a co-captain in 2006 she earned Second Team All-MAAC honors after being named First Team All-MAAC as a freshman and sophomore.
A native of Rhyl, Wales, Earnshaw has an extensive playing career at the club and international levels. She has played with the New York Magic of the W-League and is a member of the Welsh National Team. Earnshaw has also represented Wales from the Under-14 up to U-19 levels. She spent the 2001-04 campaigns playing with the highly successful Arsenal Ladies Football Club in England where she helped the squad win both the FA Women’s Premier League and FA Women’s Cup in 2003-04.
She serves as the Director of Coaching for SoccerPlus FC Club Consulting. She is a certified Personal Trainer and a certififed Strength and Conditioning Specialist.