Pioneers Lose NEC Title Game to Central Connecticut on Penalty Kicks
Nov. 7, 2004
TEANECK, NJ -- The Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils (11-9-1) defeated Sacred Heart (8-8-3), 4-1 in a shootout, to advance to the 2004 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament on Sunday afternoon at University Field in Teaneck, NJ.
The two teams battled through two scoreless sudden victory overtimes after ending regulation in a 1-1 tie.
The first half was scoreless, but the Pioneers out-shot the Blue Devils, 5-1. Five minutes into the second period, Kelly Shimmin (Liverpool, England) shot a free kick into the crossbar and Jess McCavanaugh (Massapequa, NY) netted the rebound to give Central Connecticut a 1-0 lead.
With only 11 minutes remaining in regulation, Erica Rico (Cranston, RI) blasted her first goal of the season in the back of the net to tie up the game. Nathalie Urbas (Pickering, Ontario) waited for the goalkeeper to come out before shooting the ball from the right side to Rico.
Ashley Ferra (Canterbury, CT), in between the posts for the Blue Devils, had six saves in the draw. Ferra earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, foiling a Pioneer penalty kick attempt to preserve Central Connecticut's lead in the shootout. Shimmin, Sophie Hopper (West Yorkshire, England), McCavanaugh and Tara O'Brien (Gales Ferry, CT) each netted their attempts.
For Sacred Heart, Jasmine Urbas (Pickering Ontario) punched in her attempt. Ashley Mocarski (Stratford, CT), in goal for the Pioneers, made five saves. The Pioneers had 14 shots against the Blue Devils' 11.
The loss marks the second-straight season the Pioneers have been ousted in the NEC title game in a penalty kick shoot-out, both at the hands of the Blue Devils. CCSU has knocked Sacred Heart out of the tournament the past three season, each en route to the league title.
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