Men’s Soccer Wins at Bryant

By Danny Contreras

The CCSU men’s soccer team went on the road last weekend at Bryant and walked away with a 4-2 win over their Northeast Conference rivals.

The Blue Devils won its fourth game in a row following three Jesse Menzies-assisted goals from Thomas Obasi and Aaron Durr in the first half and Steven Walmsey in the second.

Steven Bailey also got his name in the scoresheet as he scored a free-kick from 30 yards out. Bryant University managed to get two goals in the second half to prevent Anthony Occhiliani and the Blue Devils from getting a third consecutive shutout.

“Offensively, I think it could’ve been 8-2. Again our defenders stepped it up big time, Aaron Durr with a great header, too,” said Head Coach Shaun Green.

Placed dead last in the league, Bryant University searched for an opening goal early in the game. Two minutes into the match, the Bulldogs had already created its first chance, but it did not trouble Occhialini.

It was the second placed team in the league, CCSU, who would open the scoring first. Following a left corner kick from Menzies, Obasi scored the first goal with a header into the top right corner of the goal six minutes into the game.

Bryant University had another chance on goal after its midfielders and forwards combined in the 6-yard box to create a good chance from the left side of the goal. The ball was lofted up in the air and almost made it in had it not been for the heroics of CCSU’s Occhialini.

Although Bryant managed to break away twice, CCSU did not let go of the pressure and increased the lead to two following another Menzies corner kick. The ball went directly to the head of Durr who centered the ball and beat the keeper to make it 2-0 Blue Devils.

The half finished with a great possession from CCSU who kept creating chances, but could not find the back of the net.

Following the half-time break, the Blue Devils tormented the Bryant defense with some incisive passing. Mamoudou and Alpha Dioubate, and Obasi terrorized with their positioning, dribbling, and passing skills.

The second half began as the first one ended, with CCSU outplaying the Bulldogs completely. A Bryant midfielder fouled Obasi on the 30-yard for a free-kick taken by Bailey. The right-back’s accuracy was again in display following a volley that ricocheted on the top bar into the back of the net to put CCSU 3-0.

CCSU’s defense faltered for a moment and allowed Bryant back in, although controversially. The Bryant defense kick-started a counter-attack that caught the Blue Devils off-guard.

However, there was a pass from the midfield that went off the field, but was not caught by either the linesman nor the official, allowing the Bulldogs to cross the ball, and score from it; effectively ending Occhialini’s 3-1 CCSU.

“[Paul Wright and Christian Benjamin have] are very positive, very positive. Christian with the goalkeepers have given them confidence, playing at a high level.  We cannot blame them for those mistakes and Coach Wright has been amazing tactically. The players respect him immensely; he was a former player here, top scorer in the country and went on to become a professional, and they respect he knows what he’s doing and has a bright future,” explained Coach Green about his coaching staff and their influence over the players.

The Blue Devils kept searching for goals and eventually found the net again. Bryant tried to play a ball across that was intercepted by Menzies; the midfielder carried the ball to the 23-yards, passing it through to Steven Wolmsey on the right. Wolmsey carried the ball down to the 6-yard box and score to put the Blue Devils 4-1 ahead.

The game wasn’t over yet, Bryant scored a consolation goal to cut the lead down by half, but as the time ran out, so did the breaths. CCSU outplayed Bryant completely and earned three deserved points to take them to the top of league.

“We gave up a couple of goals that should’ve have gone in, but four goals, you can’t really complain with that. We’ve won four games in a row; we’ve been riding a wave. We look strong, and we don’t wanna crash anytime soon—it feels good,” said Durr.

The Blue Devils will face Long Island University in yet another table-top vs. table-bottom battle. Winning the game would give the Blue Devils a temporary two point advantage over current leaders FDU who lead the NEC League with 13 points out of a possible 18, as CCSU sits at second place with 12 points out of a possible 15.