Central Connecticut men's soccer coach Shaun Green and three of his players were honored by the Northeast Conference on Thursday night. Junior Thomas Obasi was selected to the All-NEC First Team and juniors Reece Wilson and Mamoudou Dioubate earned Second Team All-NEC honors.
Green was recognized as Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Blue Devils to a share of the NEC Regular-Season Title.
Green and the Blue Devils completed a tremendous turn around in just one season. After finishing the 2010 campaign last in the conference standings, Green brought in a talented recruiting class, highlighted by his three All-NEC selections. The worst-to-first turn for the Blue Devils earned them their first share of the NEC Regular-Season Title since 1998 and their first trip to the postseason since the 2007 season.
The 27th-year head coach led his squad to the No. 1 ranking in several offensive categories in NEC action, including points (45), goals (17) and goals per game (1.70). En route to a 7-3 conference record, the Blue Devils won six times when they scored at least two goals, with their final victory coming via a 2-0 shutout.
Green previously earned NEC Coach of the Year honors in 2003. He has coached at Central for his entire career and holds a 239-214-50 record in those 27 seasons.
Obasi quickly became one of the most feared forwards in the NEC during his first season at Central and was rewarded with a first team selection. The Birmingham, England, native proved to be a difference maker for Central in the 2011 campaign. In 18 games, all starts, he netted three goals, including two game-winners, and racked up eight points to rank fourth on the team.
The other Blue Devil forward to garner a postseason award was Wilson. The London native also transferred to Central for the 2011 season and his high level of play earned him a second team selection. Wilson showed off his powerful leg and touch with ball by scoring six goals in his first year with the Blue Devils. He led his squad with 15 points on the season, a total that ranks among the top-10 in the NEC.
Wilson was at his best in crucial situations. He notched a goal and an assist in the Blue Devils late comeback victory over Fairleigh Dickinson and then sealed Central's ticket to the playoffs with a goal in the season ending victory over St. Francis (NY).
Dioubate earned a second team selection after anchoring the Blue Devil back line. The Queens, NY, native started 18 games and helped the Blue Devils hold their opponents to only 1.16 goals per game. The Monroe College transfer was known primarily for defense, but also showed offensive skills early on by scoring one goal and assisting on another in a 3-2 setback to Air Force.
The Blue Devils (10-9, 7-3 NEC) begin NEC Tournament action tomorrow with a 1:30 p.m. game against Monmouth. The Hawks also shared the NEC Regular-Season Title in 2011. The Blue Devils hold the #2 seed in the tournament by virtue of their 2-1 victory over the Hawks in early October.
Both tournament semifinal matches will be played at Lessing Field on the campus of Fairfield University. #1 seed Sacred Heart will play #4 Fairleigh Dickinson at 11 a.m. with the #2 Blue Devils and #3 Monmouth to follow.