The Central Connecticut women's soccer team is set to compete in the first round of the NCAA Women's College Cup against the Harvard Crimson this Saturday at 1 p.m. The Blue Devils will travel to Boston, Mass to face-off against the Crimson at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium on the campus of Harvard University. The match will be aired live on ESPN3.com.
The Blue Devils (11-5-4, 4-2-2 NEC), who won their eighth Northeast Conference championship this past weekend to earn an automatic birth in the NCAA Tournament, take on the Crimson (10-4-2, 5-1-1 Ivy), who also earned an automatic bid after finishing first in the Ivy League's regular season.
The winner of Saturday's first round match-up will advance to compete against defending national champion UCLA, which currently owns a 42-game unbeaten streak, or San Diego in the second round on Nov. 21.
For all students who would like to attend the women's soccer match on Saturday, there will be a fan bus to Harvard on a first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve a seat please e-mail Nick Olear at firstname.lastname@example.org. The bus will depart for Harvard at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday morning and return after the completion of the game.
Tickets for the game will only be sold on the day of the venue on site.
General Admission - $10.
Students - $5
CCSU Game Notes:
Saturday's Game • The Central Connecticut women's soccer team, in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2008 season, will play the Harvard Crimson Saturday at 1 p.m.
Series History • The Blue Devils and Crimson are meeting for the 11th time in the history of the two programs. Harvard holds a 7-2-1 advantage in the series. The two teams have squared-up six times in Boston, Mass while four, including the latest in 2013, were held in New Britain, CT.
NCAA Series History • CCSU and Harvard have met once before in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. On November 11, 1998 the two teams battled to advance to the round of 32 at Harvard. The Crimson prevailed 4-1.
Last Year's Meeting • The Blue Devils and Crimson most recently met last year in New Britain, CT. Harvard visited Central on September 29 and won 2-0. The Crimson held a slight advantage in shots 15-11, including a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal. Forwards Emily Mosbacher and Margaret Purce both scored in the match.
CCSU and the NCAA Tournament • The Blue Devils are playing in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in program history and the sixth time under head coach Mick D'Arcy. The last time CCSU was in the NCAA Tournament was in 2008 when they played Boston College. Central dropped the contest to BC 3-0 and have a 1-7 record all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
The Road to NCAA's • The Blue Devils earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning their eighth Northeast Conference championship this past weekend. CCSU defeated Wagner College 2-1 in the NEC semifinal game and then beat Fairleigh Dickinson 2-0 in the championship match. Central qualified for the NEC Tournament as the third seed after finishing conference play with a 4-2-2 record.
Branch Named NEC Tournament MVP • Junior midfielder Charlie Branch was named the MVP of the conference tournament last weekend after she scored the game-winning goal in the championship game against Fairleigh Dickinson. Her goal came in the 33rd minute after a failed FDU clearance attempt on a Kelly Halligan corner kick. Branch ran in and kicked the ball, on a volley, past the FDU keeper into the top left corner to give CCSU the 1-0 advantage. She finished the tournament with four shots and one on goal.
Major Award Winners • The Blue Devils saw three players win four of the six major Northeast Conference awards at the end of the season awards banquet prior to the conference tournament. Senior forward Tori Sousa was named the NEC Player of the Year, freshman defender Jennifer Cafferky was tabbed the NEC Defensive Player of the year and NEC Rookie of the Year and sophomore goalkeeper Nicki Turley was named the NEC Goalkeeper of the Year.
All-Conference Selections • Five Blue Devils were named to either the NEC all-conference first team or the NEC all-rookie team this season. Senior Tori Sousa, Sophomores Kelly Halligan and Nicki Turley and freshman Jennifer Cafferky were named to the first team. Cafferky and classmate Brianna Scaldaferri were members of the NEC all-rookie team.