The Central Connecticut women's soccer team was selected as the favorite in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the league office on Tuesday. CCSU went undefeated in conference play and finished the 2018 season with an impressive 16-2-2 record, winning its ninth NEC Championship in program history. The Blue Devils received nine first-place votes and will open the season at Rutgers on August 22.
The 2018 NEC-runner up Saint Francis U received one first-place vote and picked second in the preseason poll, while Fairleigh Dickinson also earned one first-place nod listed third.
Head coach Mick D'Arcy, the program's winningest coach, will begin his 20th season on the CCSU sidelines. Senior Shauny Alterisio returns after being named the 2018 NEC Defender of the Year. She helped lead the CCSU defense which posted 11 shutouts last season. Sophomore Roma McLaughlin, the 2018 NEC Rookie of the Year, returns after totaling nine points (2G, 5A) with 17 starts last season. Senior Emily Hogan was named to the All Conference First Team and junior Jenna Rae Covello, who had a goal and assist in the NEC Championship game, was named to the 2018 All-Tournament Team.
Central will begin the chase for back-to-back NEC Championships and the tenth in program history on the road at Rutgers on Thursday, August 22. The match is set to start at 7:00 p.m.
The Northeast Conference tournament will take place on November 8 and 10. All games of the 2019 NEC Women's Soccer Tournament will be broadcast live on NEC Front Row. The top four finishers, based on winning percentage during the league's regular season will qualify for the tournament. The high seed will host the entire event.