The Central Connecticut women's soccer team has a strong presence across the rosters of United Women's Soccer (UWS) clubs. The U.S. Soccer-sanctioned national women's soccer league The professionally-operated league includes teams that meet high minimum standards and the season runs from May until the end of July. The UWS player pool includes college players, aspiring and former professionals and international stars.
"It's great that our current and former players have a competitive environment where they can play throughout the summer," said Blue Devils head coach Mick D'Arcy. "Joe Ferrara and The Mutiny deserve a lot of credit for providing these opportunities to hundreds of players over the last 20 years. I'm excited that Connecticut now has a team too. The folks at FSA and JP Dellacamera have stepped up and given us The Fusion. I've been to the opening two home games and it's a great atmosphere to watch high-level women's soccer."
Ashley Cavanaugh was named the 2017 Northeast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year as a junior. A three-time NEC Defensive Player of the Week she closed the regular season ranked 20th in the nation and led the NEC with nine shutouts. Cavanaugh started all 17 games for CCSU and posted a 0.72 goals against average and .838 save percentage.
Charlotte Maurer started 15 games as a junior in 2017 and posted a goal and two assists. She scored the game-winner against Vermont on Sept. 15, while also tallying an assist on the only goal in a 1-0 win against Saint Francis U on Oct. 15. She has started 33 career games in the middle of the CCSU lineup.
Shauny Alterisio started 15 games for Central's backline as a sophomore. She helped the Blue Devils rank second in the NEC with a 0.82 goals against average, while leading the league with 10 shutouts. Alterisio also contributed two assists on the year, setting up the game-winning goal at Rhode Island and setting up a goal in the win over Wagner.
Emily Hogan played in all 17 games, including 15 starts, as a sophomore. She tallied a goal and three assists, which ranked second on the team. She scored in the Blue Devils' win over Wagner, while adding a pair of assists in the victory. She also assisted on the only goal in a 1-0 win at Bryant. A 2016 NEC All-Rookie Team choice, Hogan has eight career assists.
Jillian Cipriano played for Central from 2008-11, helping the Blue Devils win the 2008 NEC championship. She tallied four goals and three assists in her career, including tallying three goals in her senior campaign. Jewel Robinson played for the Blue Devils from 2010-13 and tallied seven goals and three assists in her career. She was also a two-time All-NEC First Team selection (2011, 2013) and a Second Team choice in 2010. Tori Sousa played two seasons for CCSU (2013-14) after transferring from the University of Massachusetts. She was the 2014 NEC Player of the Year and helped the Blue Devils advance to the NCAA Tournament when she had a team-leading 20 points on seven goals and six assists.
The Fusion, based in Farmington, CT, are three games into the 10-game season, and following a 4-0 win at the Rochester Lancers, are atop the East Conference with a 2-1 record. Their next home game is Saturday, June 2 against the Inferno Rush at Farmington Sports Arena. Sousa scored twice in the most recent win and has three goals on the year, while Robinson and Cipriano each has an assist for the Fusion this season. Cavanaugh posted a shutout in the win over the Rush, while Alterisio, Hogan, and Maurer have each appeared in one game for the Fusion.
NEW ENGLAND MUTINY
Jennifer Cafferky and Kelly Halligan completed their senior seasons with Central in 2017. Cafferky was named the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time. She scored six career goals, while helping anchor one of the league's best defenses annually. She also earned All-East Region honors and was named the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Halligan was a two-time All-NEC First Team choice and earned All-New England honors with Cafferky this past season. She posted nine goals and 16 assists in her career. As a senior she had two goals and a team-high four assists.
Yo Tachibana wrapped up her first season with CCSU as a junior in 2017. She played in 18 games, including 15 starts, and had two goals and two assists. Tachibana, along with Cafferky, was named UWS All-Conference honors last season.
Caillyn Harding (2011-15) tallied two goals and three assists during her Central career. She was named to the NEC All-Tournament Team after helping the Blue Devils win the 2014 NEC Championship.
Charlie Branch played for CCSU in 2014-15 and notched four goals and three assists. She was named the NEC Tournament MVP in 2014 and earned All-NEC First Team honors in 2015.
The Mutiny have started the season 1-1-1. The own a 3-2 win at the Fusion to open the season and will be back in action when they host the Worcester Smiles on Saturday, June 2. Tachibana has played in all three games and has a goal. Branch, Cafferky, Halligan and Harding have each played in one game.