Northeast Conference player of the year Leah Blayney scored the
game's lone goal as the Central Connecticut State University
women's soccer team topped fourth seed Long Island 1-0 on Friday
afternoon in New Britain. The win moves the Blue Devils to 12-6-2
overall this season. Central advances to the NEC final on Sunday
at 1 p.m. and will play the winner of the Monmouth/Quinnipiac
semifinal match being played this afternoon.
Central had one good scoring chance in the first half, as sophomore Jillian Cipriano beat her defender to the left side of the box. Her shot went wide right and the game remained scoreless to the break.
The Blue Devils held a 5-1 advantage in shots in the first half. Long Island keeper Jennifer Bannon made a pair of saves to keep the game scoreless.
Long Island appeared to take a 1-0 lead with 31:00 left on the clock in the second half, but the goal was called back because of offsides.
Blayney gave the Blue Devils the 1-0 lead in the 70th minute of play. First Team All-NEC defender Karise Hilt caused a turnover at midfield and fed junior captain Clio Tregear at the top of the box. She fed Blayney on a quick feed in front of the keeper and the senior beat Bannon to the lower right side of the box for the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Devils finished the regular season 9-0-1 and won the regular season NEC title. They allowed only eight goals in league play all season long. The lone tie came against Long Island at home.
NEC Second-Team selection Caity Casey made one save to earn her fifth shutout of the season.
The Blue Devils advance to Sunday's NEC Championship game, to be held at 1 p.m. on the CCSU Soccer Field. It is the eighth time in their history they have advanced to the final game. They are 7-0 in the previous games including a 1-0 win over Long Island last season in the championship game.