The Central Connecticut women's soccer team played to a 0-0 draw in double overtime against the University of Hartford Hawks in the Blue Devils home opener Thursday night. The Blue Devils are now 1-1-1 and the Hawks move to 2-0-1. Central goalkeeper Nicki Turley finished the game with four saves and recorded her second straight shutout of the season.
Hartford outshot CCSU 16-12 however, the Blue Devils' defense was on point allowing only four of the Hawks shots to be on goal throughout the night. Out of the 12 total shots that Central took five were on target, but none of them could find the back of the net to lift the Blue Devils to victory.
Hartford started the match testing the Blue Devil defense posting seven shots in the first half. An early breakaway opportunity for Hartford was denied by Turley where she came out from the goal and made an excellent sliding save. CCSU also had some chances in the first half with one in particular coming from Senior Danica Foglio as she fired a curling shot off her right foot in the 23rd minute that sailed just high of the crossbar.
The second half started with Hartford on the attack as they had a corner kick opportunity only two minutes in. However, the Blue Devil defense proved tough once again as the chance was cleared. They continued to prove tough as the Central defense limited the Hawks to only five second half shots with zero of them being shots on goal.
The CCSU offense gained some momentum in the second half recording six total shot with three of them being on goal and they were all legitimate scoring chances. One of the best opportunities came in the 85th minute when Charlie Branch and Alysa Christo combined to find Morgan Santoro for an open shot on net, but Hartford goalkeeper Alison Koerkenmeier made a terrific save to deny any chance for a goal.
In the first ten minute overtime Central was the only team to have a real opportunity to win the game. A Hartford foul led to a free kick for the Blue Devils in the 94th minute and Claire Walsh struck a beautiful ball from around 30 yards out toward the upper left portion of the goal, but the Hartford goalkeeper once again denied any opportunity for a CCSU victory.
The second overtime proved just as thrilling as the rest of the match, with multiple opportunities and great defense. Julie Lavoie had the only chance for the Blue Devils in the second overtime as she had an open look at goal, but the shot was easily handled by the Hartford keeper. Hartford then proceeded to make two valiant efforts to put the game away in the 104th and 108th minutes, but Turley brilliantly eliminated any possible chances, ending the match in a draw.
The intra-state match up also proved to be a physical one. The two teams, separated by only 10.3 miles, accounted for 27 total fouls in the game.
Santoro and Sousa paced the offense for the Blue Devils as they both finished with three shots a piece. Santoro had two on goal while Sousa had one.
Central returns to action on Sunday, Aug. 31 as they travel to St. John's for a 7:30 p.m. match up against the Red Storm. The Blue Devils will be back home on Sept. 5 against another intra-state team in UCONN at 7 p.m. on the CCSU Soccer Field. This game will mark the first of a five game non-conference home stand for the Blue Devils throughout the month of September.