Central Connecticut women's soccer defended its home turf in the Northeast Conference Semifinals on Friday, shutting out the fourth seeded Bryant Bulldogs in a 1-0 victory. The NEC Midfielder of the Year, Roma McLaughlin, scored the game winning goal on a penalty kick in the first.
Northeast Conference Semifinal
Score: Central Connecticut 1, Bryant 0
Records: CCSU (12-5), Bryant (8-10)
Location: CCSU Soccer Field | New Britain, CT
- The Blue Devils had all of the momentum through much of the first half and were able to control the ball almost exclusively in Bryant's zone, intercepting passes and sending shots towards the goal to up the pressure.
- CCSU was able to control the time of possession so easily thanks in part to some fantastic ball movement. One play in particular out of the corner kick in the first was almost executed to perfection to put CCSU up, but the Bulldogs keeper was able to stand firm to start.
- Aoife Horgan, who was named to the All-Rookie team yesterday and got her fourth career start today, almost struck gold with 27 to play in the first. She sent one crossing towards the net that was just barely punched out by Bryant's keeper, but the rebound was right in the line of sights of Kelly Brady, who just missed the shot to put CCSU on the board.
- With seven minutes to go in the first, Abbey Chase was pushed to the ground by Bryant's keeper, setting up a penalty kick for the McLaughlin, who was 1-2 on PK's going into today. Calm and collected as ever, the McLaughlin locked in and sent one to the back left corner to put CCSU on the board first.
- The Blue Devils still did not let Bryant get much of anything going for the rest of the first. In fact, the Bulldogs did not get a single shot off in the first half while CCSU put up 12.
- The Bulldogs were able to get things to click a little more in the second half and had a number of good oppurtunities to score, but so did CCSU. Zoë McGlynn sent a cross to Brady that was nearly good for another score with 37 minutes to play in the half.
- Bryant had a scary oppurtunity in the first ten minutes of the second half, but Amanda McQuillan was able to corral it for the save.
- The Bulldogs had one last chance in the final minutes of the game with a corner kick, but were unable to convert, securing a victory for CCSU.
NUMBER TO KNOW
8 - The Blue Devils posted their eighth shutout of the season with Friday's win.
15 - CCSU outshot the Bulldogs 17-2 in the match.
- CCSU has won five of the last seven meetings between the programs. Bryant won the regular season matchup between the teams snapping a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) by the Blue Devils in the series.
- CCSU has won six straight NEC postseason games. Central has not lost in the Northeast Conference Tournament since falling at Saint Francis U in the 2017 semifinals.
- The Blue Devils have won four straight NEC regular season titles and are in search of their fourth straight NEC title.
The Blue Devils will play Fairleigh Dickinson in the conference final. FDU defeated Sacred Heart in a 5-3 win on Friday. The Northeast Conference championship game will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with the winner earning the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.