Central Connecticut women's soccer team scored a pair of first half goals to help propel them past Fairleigh Dickinson to win its fourth straight Northeast Conference championship on Sunday at CCSU Soccer Field. The Blue Devils' 3-0 win clinches an automatic berth in the 2021 NCAA Women's College Cup. Zoë McGlynn was named Tournament MVP for her gritty performance in the team's two wins this weekend. The junior forward scored the final goal in Sunday's match and was a catalyst all weekend for the Blue Devils.
Northeast Conference Final
Score: Central Connecticut 3, Fairleigh Dickinson 0
Records: CCSU (13-5), FDU (10-6-4)
Location: CCSU Soccer Field | New Britain, CT
- CCSU completely controlled the first half against the Knights, moving the ball at will on offense and shutting down any rhythm from FDU on defense. The offense ran through sophomore Sydnie Dorman, who facilitated and controlled possession from the midfield line.
- Of course, also leading the charge on the attack was the reigning Midfielder of the Year, Roma McLaughlin. McLaughlin almost put CCSU on the board in the first three minutes after setting up McGlynn with a good look in the box.
- The Blue Devils almost struck again in the tenth minute of the game. Redshirt freshman Kristina Kelly, who was named to the First Team All-NEC roster last week, blew past an FDU defender with a spin move, setting up a perfect look at the goal. Her shot sailed just high, but was another shot that kept the pressure high and kept the Knights on their toes.
- Kelly's classmate, Kelly Brady, had her fingerprints all over the attack in both of CCSU's games this weekend. Brady was brought down in the box in the 14th minute, setting up a penalty kick for the Blue Devils.
- After scoring the game-winning penalty kick on Friday, McLaughlin once again lined up for the penalty kick on Sunday. Similar results followed as McLaughlin easily put a shot into the bottom left corner.
- The Blue Devils did not get complacent after taking the early lead and continued to pound the ball into the box. McLaughlin sent two more shots towards the goal, one from deep that sailed just high of the net.
- Erin Sutter, who was recently named to the All-Rookie Team alongside her classmate Aoife Horgan, was key in shutting down the Knights' attack in the first half. It seemed as if every time possession switched over to FDU, Sutter was right there to break up a pass at midfield.
- The Knights put up their first shot of the match 28 minutes in, but All-Tournament goal keeper Amanda McQuillan easily handled it.
- After a header from Abbey Chase went just high of the goal, Jamie Collimore intercepted a pass from FDU's keeper and sent it wailing into the back of the net.
- The Knights, who were outshot by the Blue Devils 9-2 in the first half, were looking to get on the board early in the second half and sent a shot at McQuillan less than two minutes in, but McQuillan was able to quickly corral it.
- CCSU followed that up with three straight shots all in the span of a minute, followed by two corner kicks, keeping the defense on edge.
- Central tacked on its third and final goal of the match just past the hour mark. Brady and McLaughlin sent quick passes down the field to eachother before McLaughlin sets McGlynn up with a perfect look at the net. The Tournament MVP took the pass in stride and sent it to the back of the net, notching her first goal of the season at the best possible time.
- The Knights had a couple of good chances late in the match, but McQuillan and the defense were able to hold strong and complete the shutout.
BLUE DEVILS IN THE ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
- McQuillan, McGlynn, Dorman and McLaughlin were all named to the All-Tournament Team following Sunday's victory.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
40 - The Blue Devils are almost an impossible out on their home turf. CCSU has won 26 straight home matches against NEC opponents.
12 - Central has won 12 Northeast Conference Championships, with head coach Mick D'Arcy leading the program to 10 of those titles. The Blue Devils have the most titles in the NEC.
4 - This is the second time that the Blue Devils have won four straight NEC Championships. CCSU also completed this feat in 2002-2005. They are the only team in the conference to win four in a row.
- Central has won three of the last four meetings between the schools overall. The Blue Devils are 4-0 all-time against FDU in the NEC Tournament, including three wins in the NEC final.
- CCSU has won seven straight NEC postseason games. Central has not lost in the Northeast Conference Tournament since falling at Saint Francis U in the 2017 semifinals.
- Central has posted five straight shutouts in Northeast Conference postseason play.
- The Blue Devils allowed just eight shots combined in their two tournament wins. Central outshot its opponents, 36-8, and did not allow a goal in a pair of victories.
- The NCAA Tournament selection show will air on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. The Blue Devils find out who they will be facing in the Tournament then.
The Blue Devils will learn their opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Monday.