The Central Connecticut women's soccer team advanced to its
fifth Northeast Conference Championship game in seven seasons with
a 2-0 shutout win over Monmouth in the semifinals on Friday
afternoon. The Blue Devils, now 11-6-4 on the season, posted their
11th shutout of the season, setting a new school record for
shutouts in a season. They advance to Sunday's championship game
at 12 noon versus top-seeded Long Island. Junior Rachel Caneen scored both goals for CCSU in the
Monmouth had a chance to strike first in the games 12th minute. Following a Central Connecticut foul inside the box, the Hawks were awarded a penalty kick at 11:52. Senior goalkeeper Erin Herd dove to her right to stop the attempt and keep the game scoreless. The Blue Devils would answer less than five minutes later to take an early lead.
Caneen struck first for the second-seeded Blue Devils at 16:04 into the first half. She fed a ball into the box to freshman teammate Brittany Jackson, but it sailed over Jackson's head. Caneen, who had continued into the box, took the ball and beat Monmouth keeper Lia Kierro to the lower right half of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Less than 2:30 minutes later Caneen struck again, scoring her 12th goal of the season. She took a feed from sophomore Beth Lloyd, this time to the right of the goal, and scored through the left side for the 2-0 lead at 18:41. The goal was the 24th of Caneen's career, moving her into solo possession of fourth place on the CCSU all-time goals list.
Following the second goal, Herd made another crucial stop for
the Blue Devils to hold Monmouth scoreless. A Monmouth
one-on-one attempt was stopped by Herd just inside the left post to
keep the score 2-0.
Herd's shutout was her seventh of the season. She made five saves in the game, including the key penalty kick stop in the first half.
The Blue Devils were outshot by the Hawks 7-5, and Monmouth had the edge in corner kicks 13-10.
CCSU will play for its seventh NEC title on Sunday at noon in Brooklyn, NY versus #1 Long Island. The Blackbirds defeated the Blue Devils 1-0 earlier this season.