The Central Connecticut women's soccer team continued its dominance on its home field with a 3-1 victory over Sacred Heart on Friday afternoon in the Northeast Conference Tournament semifinals in New Britain. Central, the regular season champion in the NEC, is now 11-4-4 overall and will play for its 10th NEC title on Sunday at 1 p.m. in New Britain. The Blue Devils are now 24-0-3 at home in their last 27 home matches. Sunday they play for their 10th NEC title.
Junior Erica Bardes posted the second multi-goal game of her career in the victory, scoring the first and third goals of the game for CCSU. Central dominated play, especially in the second half, and outshot the Pioneers 22-3 in the game, including 12-1 in shots on goal. The game was played in windy conditions with temperatures in the low 30's.
The Blue Devils will face Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the NEC title.
GAME INFORMATION - NEC CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL
Score: #1 Central Connecticut 3, #4 Sacred Heart 1
Records: Central Connecticut (11-4-4, 8-1-1 NEC), Sacred Heart (9-8-2, 6-3-1 NEC)
Location: New Britain, CT
- Central opened scoring when junior Erica Bardes scored her third goal of the season at 23:49 of the first half, off a stellar pass from senior Emily Hogan.
- The game was tied 1-1 with under two minutes to play in the first half when Meadow Mancini took a corner from Nichol Green and scored.
- Hogan's fourth goal of the season at 33:31 of the second half gave the Blue Devils the 2-1 lead.
- Bardes posted her second goal of the game, minutes after Hogan's goal, to push the lead to 3-1. It is her first multi-goal game of the season, and the second of her career. She also scored two goals in a game vs. LIU in her freshman season in 2017.
"I was really impressed with how well we dominated the first 10-15 minutes of the second half, and the goals were great," Head Coach Mick D'Arcy said. "It certainly helped to get the goals early and settle us down. We had several chances there to open the second half. Now, we look forward to Sunday."
NUMBER TO KNOW
10 - The Blue Devils will play for their 10th NEC Championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. on the CCSU Soccer Field.
- Central is now 24-0-3 in its last 27 home games, and haven't lost a home game since Sept. 3, 2017.
- CCSU is hosting the NEC Tournament for the seventh time, they have won the title five times ('97, '98, '02, '05, '18) while hosting. Five of their nine championships have been won in New Britain.
- The win is the 8th straight for CCSU.
- Hogan finished the game with a goal and an assist.
- The Blue Devils held the Pioneers to two total shots, and one shot on goal.
- Central held an 8-1 edge in corner kicks in the match.
Central Connecticut will play FDU in Sunday's final beginning at 1 p.m. in New Britain. The game will air live on EPSN3 and NEC Front Row.