Central Connecticut Tops Army, 2-1

Josh Koeppe

Josh Koeppe

Sept. 10, 2011

Box Score

Army-CCSU Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Central Connecticut State scored a pair of goals in a span of less than nine minutes late in the first half to overcome an early 1-0 deficit and defeat Army, 2-1, in a non-league men's soccer match played under beautiful conditions on Saturday evening at Clinton Field.

Army (2-3-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when junior Trent Brown headed a cross by freshman Sean Mogan past CCSU goalkeeper Anthony Occhialini. Mogan took the ball into the left side of the box before crossing it to Brown, who deftly headed it into the back of the net.

The Blue Devils had a golden opportunity to tie the score less than four minutes later when they were awarded a penalty kick after Thomas Obasi was pulled down in the box. Army freshman goalkeeper John Marinelli was able to stop Reece Wilson's ensuing shot, however, to preserve the Black Knights' 1-0 advantage. Wilson's attempt appeared ticketed for the lower left-hand corner of the cage, but Marinelli made a diving save.

CCSU (2-2-0) broke through in the 31st minute when Jesse Menzies scored off a broken play in front of the Army goal. The marker came after a Blue Devils corner kick put the ball into the penalty area. After a failed clear attempt, Menzies hit a low strike that came from 10 yards out and found its way through a sea of players that shielded Marinelli's view of the ball.

The Blue Devils moved in front in the 40th minute when Obasi took a feed from Wilson and beat Marinelli with a low 12-yard shot from left to right.

CCSU held a 10-7 edge in shots during the first half. Wilson led all players with four shots. Freshmen Tommy Jaeger and Kyle Golonski each fired two shots apiece to pace the Black Knights' offense in the frame.

Army turned up the pressure in the second half, despite playing the final 27 minutes a man-down after freshman Elliott McGilbra was sent off with a red card.

Junior Josh Koeppe produced two of the Black Knights' best scoring chances of the second stanza. In the 69th minute, he volleyed a cross from eight yards out, but Occhialini was able to make a diving save. Then, in the 74th minute, Koeppe corralled a cross just left of the cage, but his shot from less than 10 yards was blocked by the defense.

Army's last quality opportunity came in the 88th minute when junior Mitch Johnson headed a corner kick by classmate Michael Kim into Occhialini's arms.

Central Connecticut finished the match with a 17-14 advantage in shots, but Army held a 5-4 edge in corner kicks.

Koeppe paced the Black Knights' offense with three shots. Obasi was credited with six shots to pace the Blue Devils' attack.

Marinelli (2-3-0) stopped a career-high four shots in the match. Occhialini (2-1-0) made five saves to earn the victory for CCSU.

"We knew what are challenges were going to be; they are a pretty big and athletic team," said Army second-year head coach Russell Payne. "There was one particular play that we didn't finish, and they got a second chance and finished it. That really decided the game for us. We had probably three heavy goal-scoring opportunities that we didn't finish that could have turned the game for us, but it didn't happen. That's the cruelty of our sport. You don't finish a couple at your end and they get a break at their end and that's the score line. We're just going to continue to move forward with it; that's all we can do. We will just continue to build on all of the good things we've done and make the corrections where we need to. It's a young team, but with each game we get more experience. That's the good thing about a young team.

"We're all competitors and we hate to lose, but overall I'm extremely pleased with how far we've come and how we've started this season. We have some challenges in tightening a few things up, but I'm extremely pleased with and proud of our guys. They have competed from start to finish over the last five games, and I can't ask any more of them. We just have to execute a little better."

Army resumes its four-game homestand on Tuesday, Sept. 13, when the Black Knights host St. Joseph's at Clinton Field at 7 p.m. Live audio and video broadcasts of the match can be accessed via ITT Knight Vision on Army's official athletics web site (www.goARMYsports.com).

Match Notes: Army falls to 1-3-0 all-time versus Central Connecticut State ... the Black Knights were outshot for the first time since the season opener versus Marist ... Sean Mogan recorded his first career assist ... Trent Brown's goal was his first of the season and second of his career ... Army wore its white uniforms with white jerseys, white shorts and white socks.

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