The Central Connecticut men's soccer team opened Northeast Conference play with a 1-0 home victory over Monmouth on Sunday afternoon. With the victory the Blue Devils are now 3-5-1 overall and 1-0 in NEC action. Monmouth, who is receiving votes in this week's National Poll, is now 5-3-1 overall and 0-1 in the NEC.
Senior midfielder Jesse Menzies scored the lone goal of the game to give the Blue Devils the 1-0 lead at the break. Menzies was taken down in the box, and awarded a penalty kick at 37:30. He beat the Monmouth keeper to the lower right corner of the goal for the first penalty kick goal of the season for the Blue Devils.
The goal was Menzies third of the 2012 season. The senior now has five goals total in his career at Central.
Monmouth and Central recorded two saves apiece in the first half. Senior keeper Anthony Occhialini played the entire game in goal for Central and recorded both of his saves in the first period. Monmouth, who entered the game ranked first in the NEC in shots, was held to just two shots-on-goal for the entire game. Both shots by the Hawks were taken in the first half and both were saved by Occhialini.
The second half went scoreless as the Blue Devils defense held the Hawks to just two shots and no shots-on-goal. The shot disperity between the two teams was five to two, advantage Central. Central's offense distributed the ball well as seniors Thomas Obasi, Reece Wilson, Jesse Menzies, junior Eddy Bogle, and freshman Ben Knight each recorded a shot-on-goal in the game.
Occhialini improves to 2-3-1 on the season after the victory. As the Blue Devils keeper, Occhialini is unbeated at home so far in 2012. He now has 22 saves this season.
Central Connecticut will be hosted by St. Francis (PA) on Friday, October 5th for their second NEC contest of the season. The Blue Devils will return home on October 14th as they will host NEC foe Fairleigh Dickinson.