Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Central Connecticut's Cinderella story
by Paul Kennedy, November 27th, 2007 8AM
Subscribe to College Soccer Reporter

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Of the 32 teams left in the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament, none came from as far back as Central Connecticut State.

After 12 games, the Blue Devils were 2-8-2 and had scored only eight goals. If there was a way to lose, CCSU found it. In back-to-back Northeast Conference games, it lost in double overtime.

Then something happened. The Blue Devils started winning. They came back from one goal down at the half to beat Robert Morris, 2-1. With only four teams selected for the conference tournament, CCSU basically needed to run the table to stay alive. It won four straight games and then tied St. Francis (N.Y.), 1-1, to clinch fourth place in the NEC.

Back-to-back 1-0 wins over No. 1 seed Monmouth and No. 2 St. Francis (Pa.) gave the Blue Devils the NEC title and their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Still, scoring was a problem. In each of its last five games leading up to the NCAA Tournament, Central scored only once and never all season had it scored more than two goals before it headed to Harvard for their first-round round.

But something happened in Cambridge. The Blue Devils knocked three goals past the highly regarded Crimson and won, 3-2, to set up a date Wednesday at Conference USA champion Tulsa. Twice CCSU went ahead on goals by Andrew Cooper and Connor Smith, and twice high-scoring Harvard equalized before Yan Klukowski put the Blue Devils ahead for good in the 84th minute.

Harvard almost tied the score a third time but goalie Paul Armstrong contributed two saves in the final 10 seconds and watched a third shot by Matt Hoff smash off the crossbar.

"It is impressive that we put the ball into the net three times against the 15th ranked team in the country," CCSU coach Shaun Green said.  "We put a lot into this season and at the beginning of the season there was a lot of belief without the evidence.  We continued to believe in ourselves, and this win is a validation for all of the hard work and effort we put in throughout the season.  We knew this team would be successful and these last few weeks have proven that all of our hard work and effort have paid off."

Cooper, Smith, Klukowski and Armstrong are all English. Add Jonathan Agbatar, who set up Klukowski's winner, Robert Cavener and David Tyrie, the 2007 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, and that makes seven starters who hail from England. An eighth starter, leading scorer Christopher Brown (five goals), is from the Isle of Man.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent College Soccer Reporter
Making a List: NCAA Division I women's champions    
USC became the first Pac-12 team and just fourth team to win more than one NCAA ...
Women's College Cup: USC stuns West Virginia    
USC got two late goals from Mexican international Katie Johnson to beat top-ranked West Virginia, 3-1, ...
NAIA: Hastings and NW Ohio take championships    
A pair of subs teamed up to give Hastings its second NAIA men's title over Rio ...
NCAA Division III: Tufts and Washington capture crowns    
Tufts won its second NCAA Division III men's championship in three years, while Washington (Mo.) captured ...
NCAA Division II: Wingate and WWU claim first titles    
Wingate and Western Washington won their first national championships in soccer when they captured the men's ...
College Men: Right to Dream's Twumasi carries Wake    
Ema Twumasi, another of Ghana's "Right to Dream" graduates who attended U.S. boarding schools, scored twice ...
College Men: Langsdorf does it again for Stanford    
In his three seasons at Stanford, Jordan Morris never had a season like his former classmate ...
College Men: Murphy sends Carolina to College Cup    
Limited to six games with a foot injury, transfer Drew Murphy came off the bench and ...
College Men: Denver headed to first final four    
Unbeaten Denver advanced to the Men's College Cup for the first time when it beat No. ...
Women's College Cup: West Virginia and USC reach final    
Excellent goals determined the two finalists that will meet Sunday to determine the national champion. Michaela ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives