The Central Connecticut women's soccer team is set to face Saint Francis U in the Northeast Conference semifinals Friday at 11 a.m. Prior to the start of the 2013 semifinals, the NEC announced its regular season awards on Thursday. The honorees included five Blue Devils, three earning first team honors.
Seniors Allison Kelley and Jewel Robinson along with junior Tori Sousa were tabbed with All-Conference First Team honors for their performances throughout the season. Senior goalkeeper Nikola Deiter earned second-team honors and freshman Morgan Santoro was named to the 2013 All-Rookie Team.
Kelley, a three-time honoree, makes her initial first-team appearance. Kelley was second-team all conference in 2010 and 2012. In a must-win contest over Bryant on Nov. 1, Kelley scored the game-winning goal in overtime, her first of the season.
Classmate Jewel Robinson is also a three-time All-NEC award winner. Robinson, who was tabbed to the second team as a freshman in 2010 and first team as a sophomore in 2011. The defender helped anchor a CCSU defense that yielded just eight goals in eight NEC matches.
Junior midfielder Tori Sousa, a newcomer to the Blue Devil squad, posted 21 shots on goal this season, leading CCSU in the category. Sousa ranks fourth in the conference with 3.00 shots per game and has collected four points this season.
In just over 1,562 minutes between the posts, Deiter has tallied a total of 84 saves this season alone and posted one shutout en route to her second-team honor. She heads into the second NEC Tournament appearance of her career on Friday.
Santoro has kicked off her career tied for second on the CCSU squad in points with six. She posted two goals, two assists and 15 shots on goal for a .455 shot on goal percentage during her freshman campaign.
The Blue Devils are set to begin the semifinal round of the NEC Tournament on Friday. CCSU enters the tournament as the fourth seed team and sits in a three-way tie for second place with 15 points. CCSU is on a three-win streak that began with a 2-0 shutout victory over Mount St. Mary's.
Central earned two big victories to close the regular season following the win over the Mountaineers including the 2-1 overtime win over Bryant on Nov. 1 and the 3-1 victory in New Britain over Wagner on Nov. 3.
This is the first year the Blue Devils have reached the NEC Championships since 2010, when they fell in the semifinals to LIU Brooklyn. Including 2010, the Blue Devils appeared in nine-straight NEC Tournaments and have appeared in 13 thoughout the Division I history of the program. The Blue Devils have won seven NEC Championships: 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008, five under Head Coach Mick D'Arcy.
Live video of Friday's matchup between CCSU and Saint Francis U will be available for free on www.NECFrontRow.com. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.