The Blue Devils were able to overcome the elements on a cold and windy Friday afternoon, posting a 3-0 win against Wagner College. The team has now won two games in a row and their past three home matches.
The win over the Seahawks put Central Connecticut into the fourth seed in the Northeast Conference. If the season ended today, they would be in the NEC tournament for the conference championship.
Sophomore midfielder Roma McLaughlin scored twice and freshman Ashley Wright scored her first collegiate goal in the victory. McLaughlin leads the team with seven goals and is tied for the leading scorer in the NEC on the year.
Against Wagner College, Central started as strong as they did in previous games, scoring in the first 15 minutes of the match. They started playing a 4-3-3 formation with McLaughin playing as a false-nine.
“It’s something we have been working on,” head coach Mick D’Arcy said. “She is incredibly mobile and we are trying to figure out where she can impact the game most.”
McLaughlin would rather play as a center midfielder but is willing to play wherever the team needs her.
“The false-nine is working for us and I’m happy to play that role for the team if that’s what’s needed,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll play wherever as long as I am on the pitch.”
The new formation continued to work for the Blue Devils as they were able to break the deadlock just 12 minutes into the game. Junior midfielder/forward Jenna Rae Covello put the ball on a plate for McLaughlin who was able to score.
The roles reversed for the Blue Devils almost a minute after the McLaughlin score when she played in Covello for a potential goal but her shot was saved by the Seahawks goalkeeper.
Central continued to play well and was rewarded for their efforts with a penalty after Covello made a great run into the box. McLaughlin capitalized and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for her second goal to double the Blue Devils lead.
“It’s always pleasing to score, but at the start of the game, the most important thing is that we win,” McLaughlin said. “To get on the score sheet and win is always pleasing for me.”
Central didn’t start the second half as strongly as they did the first. The Seahawks almost scored after Central couldn’t clear their lines but the ball drifted past the post.
Despite the scoreline, D’Arcy didn’t think the team played as well as they could.
“It’s always great to get another shoutout at home and three goals, I’m impressed with that,” D’Arcy said. “Overall I don’t think our performance was great today, getting the goals early helped to settle us down. We didn’t possess the ball as well as we normally do but I think you can blame the conditions for that.”
D’Arcy gave credit to the Seahawks but praised how well his defense played.
“I thought we let Wagner back into the game in the second half. They had a good 15-minute span but we didn’t concede which was good.”
Central did have chances in the second half from a variety of players including the left-back, junior Erica Bardes but her shot smacked off the crossbar.
The Blue Devils did add to their lead in the second half, with freshmen Giavanna Inzerillo putting in her roommate Wright who finished well into the bottom corner for her first goal as a Blue Devil.
The Central Connecticut women’s soccer team is off for a week before hosting conference opponent Long Island University on Friday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m.
Central will close out the season playing five NEC games and D’Arcy recognized the importance of each game as his team is trying to improve on their 3-1-1 conference record.
“Every game is must-win but that’s conference play.”