For the fifth time in its history, the Central Connecticut State
University women's soccer team will host the Northeast Conference
Championships. The Blue Devils, who won the regular season NEC
title with a 9-0-1 conference mark, will face fourth seed Long
Island in the first match of the tournament on Friday at 11 a.m.
Second seed Monmouth and third seed Quinnipiac will meet in the
other semifinal. The championship will be held on Sunday at 1
p.m. All matches will take place on the CCSU Soccer Field in New
Britain. Fans can follow every match live by clicking on the link
below or by going to NortheastConference.tv.
NEC Tournament Preview
NEC Tournament Headquarters (Live Streaming Video, Live Stats)
CENTRAL TOURNAMENT NOTES
CCSU and the NEC Tournament
• The Blue Devils are playing in their eighth straight NEC Tournament this afternoon, the longest active streak in the league.
• CCSU has won seven conference titles since 1997. They won in 1997 and 1998 and then won four straight including 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Last season marked their seventh title. CCSU has won the NEC title at home four previous times.
• The Blue Devils are 14-3 all-time in the NEC Tournament, winning seven titles. Their three losses came in 1999 to Long Island, 2006 to Monmouth and 2007 to Sacred Heart. CCSU has reached the final seven times and won the title each of those times.
Success When Hosting
The Blue Devils are hosting the NEC Tournament for the fifth time in their history. The previous four times that they hosted (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004) they were victorious and won the NEC title. They are 8-0 all-time at home in NEC Tournament action.
CCSU's NEC History
The Blue Devils are now 59-11-4 in NEC games dating back to the 2002 season. They are 70-19-5 in league play in 10 seasons under head coach Mick D'Arcy and 96-21-6 all-time in NEC action, dating back to their first season in 1996. They have won seven or more league games seven times in that span, including nine this season.
Scoring in the NEC
The Blue Devils outscored their opponents 33-8 in league games this season. The Blue Devils picked up their offense and defense as the season went along. In the final seven games of the year, outscoring league opponents 24-4 and posting three shutouts and not allowing more than one goal in any of those games. Central had five total shutouts on the season.
Home Success - 14-0-1 in Last 15
The Blue Devils finished the regular season unbeaten at home for the second straight season, posting a 5-0-1 record. They have not dropped a home game since a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac on Oct. 7, 2007. CCSU is 14-0-1 in its last 15 home games dating back to that loss. The tie was against Long Island earlier this season.
Unbeaten in the NEC
The Blue Devils finished the regular season unbeaten in Northeast Conference play (9-0-1) for the fifth time in their history and the first time since 2005. The Blue Devils have not finished lower than third in the conference standings since the 2001 season.
Senior Leah Blayney has had one of the best individual statistical seasons in school history, leading the conference with 33 points on 10 goals and 13 assists. The senior from New South Wales now has 60 career points, good for a tie for fourth place all-time in school history. Here 33 points this season are the third-highest single season total in program history, behind only 49 from Jane McFarlane in 1997 and 38 from Kelly Shimmin in 2003. Her 13 assists this year are the second-highest single season total in school history, behind 16 from Shimmin in 2003.
Junior Beth Lloyd continued her torrid scoring pace in the NEC, posting four goals and a pair of assists in a 2-0 week for the Blue Devils last week. Lloyd, who finished the regular season with a team-high 11 goals, scored two goals and added an assist in the win over St. Francis (PA) at home on Friday. She scored the first goal of the game for Central, then later assisted on a goal and scored the final goal of the game as the Blue Devils clinched the regular season NEC title. On Sunday, she matched her performance from Friday, posting another two goals and adding an assist. She scored the first and second goals of the game for Central in the 4-0 win over Robert Morris. She assisted on the third goal of the game. She finished the year with 11 goals in her final 12 games. Nine of her goals on the year came against league opponents, and she had four game-winners. Her 11 goals this season are tied for the third-highest single season total in school history.
The Blue Devil defense, led by seniors Karise Hilt and Caity Casey, allowed just three goals in the final six games of the season, helping Central go 5-0-1 during that span. In league action Central allowed only 0.78 goals against per game, allowing eight goals in 10 games. Included in those games were four shutouts against league opponents (Bryant, Wagner, Monmouth and Robert Morris).