The Central Connecticut men's soccer team claimed the 2013 Northeast Conference Regular Season Title with a 1-0 shutout victory at home over Saint Francis University on Friday night. The win pushes the Blue Devils to 5-0 in NEC play, and the 15 points give the Blue Devils the regular season title for the second time in two seasons.
The shutout is the third straight in NEC action for the Blue Devils and the fourth overall in league play. Central has not allowed a goal against a league opponent in 317:04, datign back to a 4-3 overtime win at Sacred Heart on October 13.
The win gives Central an 8-7-1 overall record. They are 5-0 in the NEC. Saint Francis U is now 10-4-3 overall and 3-2-1 in league play.
The teams played a scoreless first half and the Blue Devils held a slight 6-5 advantage in shots. Junior goalkeeper Josef Abele made a pair of point blank saves to keep the Red Flash off the board.
Central had a pair of chances in the half but St. Francis U keeper Daniel Valcicak stopped the lone shot on goal by the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils scored the only goal of the game on a penalty kick from senior Manny Nobre with 34:31 to play in the second half. Sophomore Zack Zurita was taken down in the box and the Blue Devils were awarded the kick. Nobre beat Valcicak to the lower left corner for his second goal of the season.
Abele, who now has seven shutouts on the year, made four saves in goal in the win. Perhaps his biggest came with under a minute to play as a he stopped another point blank attempt by the Red Flash that would have tied the game.
The Blue Devils will complete their home regular season schedule on Sunday, hosting Robert Morris beginning at 3 p.m. on the CCSU Soccer Field. Prior to the game Central will honor its three seniors who will be playing their final regular season home game at CCSU.
Fans can watch the game live by logging onto www.NECFrontRow.com.