Mick D'Arcy will begin his 22nd season as the head coach of the Central Connecticut women's soccer program in 2021 having led the group to unprecedented success. D'Arcy has compiled a 212-155-38 (.570) record, making him the winningest coach in program history. He has led his team to the NCAA Tournament nine times and has been honored as Northeast Conference Coach of the Year seven times.
D'Arcy has won NEC championships and trips to the NCAA Women's College Cup in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2020-21. 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 with a 1-0 win over #13 ranked Boston College.
D'Arcy guided Central to its third straight conference title and NCAA appearance in the 2020-21 season that was played in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Devils went 7-0-0 and allowed just one goal to NEC foes in the regular-season before facing South Florida in the NCAA Tournament. He was named NEC Coach of the Year, while those under his tutelage would sweep the major league honors (Jenna Rae Covello - Offensive Player of the Year, Brianna Williams - Defensive Player of the Year, Roma McLaughlin - Midfielder of the Year, Amanda McQuillan - Goalkeeper of the Year, Kelly Brady - Rookie of the Year). All told, eight Blue Devils would earn a spot on the All-NEC squads. Following the season, McLaughlin would also earn All-America honors for the second straight season when she was named to the Second Team. She, along with Covello and Erica Bardes, was also named to the All-North Region Team, while Bardes earned Scholar All-America Third Team honors and Williams earned CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition. McLaughlin would also represent her native Ireland in international soccer during the summer.
The Blue Devils went 13-5-4 and achieved numerous milestones enroute to their 10th conference championship in 2019. D'Arcy won his 200th career game with a 5-2 win over Robert Morris on Oct. 25. CCSU would go on to win its eighth NEC title under D'Arcy with a 1-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on its home field. Central would earn its second NCAA Tournament win with a 1-0 win at Rutgers. Shauny Alterisio was named NEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time, while McLaughlin was named NEC Midfielder of the Year. A total of eight players were named to the All-NEC First and All-Rookie Teams. Alterisio and McLaughlin were also named to the ECAC All-Star Team and United Soccer Coaches All-Region Team, along with Bardes. McLaughlin also became the first Blue Devil named to be named All-America when she was named to the Second Team following the season.
The 2018 team finished with a 16-2-2 overall record going undefeated in conference play and posting 11 shutouts. The team entered the NEC Tournament on an eight game winning streak and defeated the defending champions Saint Francis U 2-1 to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Central faced Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament falling 3-1.
Along with being named the NEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in the 2018 championship season, D'Arcy had four players earn postseason honors. Ashley Cavanaugh was named the Goalkeeper of the year making it the fifth consecutive year a Blue Devil has won the award. Charlotte Maurer (Midfielder of the Year), Alterisio (Defensive Player of the Year) and McLaughlin (Rookie of the Year) also recieved NEC honors. In total, six players were named to the All-Conference First Team and three made the All-Rookie Team.
D'Arcy also saw three student-athletes earn NEC major awards for the 2014 championship season. Tori Sousa became the eighth player in CCSU history to be named NEC Player of the Year, Nicki Turley was tabbed the NEC Goalkeeper of the Year and Jennifer Cafferky earned NEC Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year honors. In addition, Kelly Halligan was named to the All-NEC First-Team and Brianna Scaldaferri was a member of the NEC All-Rookie Team.
The Blue Devils returned to the NEC postseason in 2017, posting a 6-2 record in league play and winning 10 contests overall. Cafferky capped her career by becoming the first player in league history to earn four consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards. She also earned ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-New England and All-East Region recognition. Ashley Cavanaugh was named NEC Goalkeeper of the Year and Central had a total of six All-NEC honorees.
CCSU claimed 2016 NEC Regular Season Co-Champions and earned the NSCAA's Gold Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Under D'Arcy's guidance, the Blue Devils were honored with the award in recognition of their exhibition of fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game.
D'Arcy saw three of his players earn Northeast Conference post season honors, including Cafferky with her third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year nod, and Turley with her third straight Goalkeeper of the Year acknowledgement. Central's Carla Jackson was named the NEC's Rookie of the Year, as one of three selected to the All-Rookie Team. D'Arcy's team saw four players to the first team, and one to the second team all-conference. CCSU finished as the 2016 Runner-Up.
The 2015 squad was the strongest defensive squad in the Northeast Conference, allowing less than a goal per game. Five Blue Devils earned All-NEC honors, led by Turley and Cafferky, who were named Goalkeeper of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, for the second straight season each. Central was again honored with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Academic Award after posting a 3.54 GPA.
In 2010, D'Arcy's squad was also led by five student-athletes who earned All-NEC selections. In addition to on the field success the 2010 squad earned the NSCAA Academic Award, it was also the ninth consecutive year that 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 team.
"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. Bardes was named the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2020-21, while also be honored with the prestigious CCSU President's Citation award.
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 the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award every year since 2002.
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 School.
"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."
D'Arcy is married to Christine (Garibaldi), a former women's soccer All-American at Boston College, and they have three children; Eamonn, Brendan and Maeve.