Central Connecticut head men's soccer coach Shaun Green and freshman defender Conor Qualter were among the Northeast Conference major award winners at the post-season men's soccer banquet on Thursday night. The banquet was held on the CCSU campus as the Blue Devils get ready to host the 2013 NEC Men's Soccer Championship beginning Friday.
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CCSU POSTSEASON NOTES
Green, in his 29th season with the Blue Devils, was named the NEC Coach of the Year for the second time in the last three seasons. During that span the Blue Devils have posted a 19-7-1 record in regular season league action. Central is 6-1 this year and earned the team's second regular season title in three seasons.
Qualter was named the league's Rookie of the Year as well as earning a spot on the NEC First Team. He has been a force on the defensive end of the field for the Blue Devils this season, helping Central post eight shutouts on the year. The first-year player was an NEC Player of the Week selection once this year and is a four-time NEC Rookie of the Week. He scored a pair of game-winning goals in wins over LIU Brooklyn and Sacred Heart.
Also, five Blue Devils were named to the All-Conference Second Team on Thursday night. The six All-Conference selections are the most of any team in the league.
Sophomore forward Zach Zurita led the Blue Devils in scoring this season with six goals and five assists, good for 17 points. All were team-highs. He had one game-winning goal in his first season with the Blue Devils.
Senior forward Eddy Bogle finished second on the team in scoring with five goals and two assists, good for 12 points. His three game-winners led the team. One of them came on the road at Monmouth and helped Green earn his 250th career victory with the Blue Devils.
Senior defender Jose Gamboa helped anchor a solid Central defense that posted eight shutouts on the year, including four in conference play. He also scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 road win at Fairleigh Dickinson earlier this season.
Junior midfielder Stephen Walmsley had a pair of assists this Blue Devils, both came at crucial times for CCSU. He assisted on the game-winning goal in overtime in a 4-3 win at Sacred Heart. He also assisted on the first goal of the game at home vs. Robert Morris in a 2-1 win.
Junior goalkeeper Josef Abele had a standout season in his first year as a starter for CCSU. Abele posted a overall record of 9-4 and a 6-1 mark in NEC play. He had seven total shutouts (he also shared one) with four of those came against conference opponents. Abele posted a 1.18 goals against average and a save percentage of .797 in his first season in goal.
Central finished the conference season 6-1 and won the regular season championship. They earned the right to host the 2013 NEC Tournament, which begins on Friday at 4 p.m. when the Blue Devils host St. Francis Brooklyn. Fans can watch the action live on www.NECFrontRow.com.