Raphael Guimaraes scored the lone goal for the Central Connecticut (9-7-2, 3-5-1) men's soccer team as they fell to NEC leading Monmouth (12-3-3, 6-1-2), 2-1, on Senior Day in New Britain. Seniors Yan Klukowski, David Tyrie, Ben Howe and Nick Soares were honored before their final regular season game on the CCSU Soccer Field.
The Blue Devils got on the board first when sophomore Robert Cavener played a ball, from half field, to sophomore Connor Smith streaking down the right side of the field in the 29th minute. Smith dribbled toward the end line and played the ball across the box to Guimaraes who finished it on one touch. The goal marked the fourth of the season for the junior transfer from Marlborough, MA.
CCSU took advantage of their few chances in the first half, tallying four shots and only two on target in the opening period. Monmouth recorded eight shots, forcing Soares to make four saves in the first 45 minutes of the game.
Central held on to their lead for much of the second half, standing up to the constant pressure put on by Monmouth. The Hawks tied up the game with less than 10 minutes remaining when freshman Max Hamilton's shot rebounded outside the box to senior Andreas Klang. Klang put it away off the right post to put the game into overtime.
After the first overtime went scoreless, Monmouth had an opportunity to clinch the top seed in next weekend's NEC Tournament by capitalizing on a corner kick with eight minutes remaining in the second overtime. Senior Rich Baker took the corner kick and sophomore Ryan Kinne flicked it on to the opposite side of the box. That was when sophomore Chase Barbieri finished it off on one touch to win the game for the Hawks.
Soares finished with five saves for the Blue Devils, while junior Paul Armstrong substituted in during the second half to record two saves. Monmouth goalkeeper Bryan Meredith finished with three saves in the game.
CCSU finished the season with a record of 9-7-2. Monmouth improved to 12-3-3 overall and 6-1-2 in NEC play. The Hawks will be the number one seed in next weekend's Northeast Conference Tournament.