The Central Connecticut men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Friday afternoon. The two teams entered the match tied for first place in the Northeast Conference with 19 points each. The Blue Devils fall to second place and an 8-7-1 (6-2-1 NEC) record. The Bobcats are now 9-5-2 (7-1-1 NEC) and move into first place in the conference.
The Bobcats struck first when William Daniels of Quinnipiac took an assist from teammate Simon Hinde and netted their first goal of the game. The score put the Bobcats up 1-0 early in the match as it occured in the 24th minute of play.
Despite two straight fouls committed by the Bobcats followed by a corner kick attempt from senior Jesse Menzies in the closing minutes of the first half, the Blue Devils could not capitalize and Central went into the break down 1-0.
The majority of the second half went scoreless but in the final push for Central, senior Steven Bailey punched in his second goal of the 2012 season off of an assist from freshman teammate Ben Knight, his first assists of the season. The goal came in the 72nd minute, late in the second period, and knotted the teams at 1-1.
Just six minutes after the CCSU score, Bobcat Robbie McLarney was fouled and awarded a penalty kick in the 78th minute. McLarney put his shot past senior Blue Devil goalkeeper Anthony Occhialini to give Quinnipiac the 2-1 advantage with less than 12 minutes remaining in regulation.
After a combined four shots in the final 10 minutes of action, the Blue Devils could not answer the Bobcats late goal and Quinnipiac went on to claim the 2-1 victory.
Occhialini stopped an impressive four shots-on-goal out of six by the Bobcats surpassing 160 saves in his career. He now has 42 saves on the season but falls to an 8-6-2 overall record. Occhialini played 85:11 minutes in the box before being relieved by senior keeper James Perkins who finished out the final 4:49 of the match.
Central was sent to the corner 11 times in the match compared to Quinnipiac's three. Nine of those 11 corner kicks were attempted in the second half.
Central's final match of the 2012 season will be on Sunday, November 4th as they take on the Bryant Bulldogs (5-8-2, 3-5-1 NEC). The game will serve as Senior Day for the seven Central Connecticut men's soccer seniors: Thomas Obasi, Ben Walsh, Mamoudou Dioubate, Reece Wilson, Steven Bailey, Jesse Menzies, and James Perkins.
Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the match will be played at home on the CCSU Soccer Field located in New Britain, CT.