NEW BRITAIN - After a slow first half for her team offensively, Harvard freshman Murphy Agnew lined up a shot from the left of the circle with just over 20 minutes to go and stellar defense being played on both sides.
She put it past CCSU goaltender Ashley Cavanaugh as the first goal of her collegiate career came in stylish fashion, leading to a 1-0 victory over CCSU Friday night.
“It felt good, but it definitely felt better to get the win for my team,” Agnew said.
During the first half, neither CCSU nor Harvard could find an edge.
There was only one shot on net in the first 45 minutes and that was off the foot of Charlotte Maurer.
“I thought in the first 10 minutes of the first half we played really well and then we let them back into the game,” CCSU head coach Mick D’Arcy said. “Other than that [Agnew] goal I think it was a pretty evenly matched game. Chances were few and far between.”
Harvard had four shots on net, but the Blue Devils did a strong job keeping the shots away from goaltender Ashley Cavanaugh.
“Both teams are strong defensively,” D’Arcy said. “It was never going to be a high scoring game. I thought that both teams played well and it took a really special goal to win it.”
For Harvard, Lauren Raimondo and Dani Stollar both had shots and Leah Mohammadi had a pair of shots that went wide of Cavanaugh.
Agnew and Mohammadi each had a pair of shots on Cavanaugh during the second half.
Agnew almost put in a second goal that was deflected by Cavanaugh and went just wide of the net off the deflection.
From the 15-minute mark to the 12-minute mark, the Crimson controlled the zone, constantly putting pressure on Cavanaugh, but couldn’t score.
CCSU saw its best chance of the night with Yo Tachibana chasing down a ball that was rolling toward Crimson goalie Kat Hess.
Hess came up and grabbed the ball right before Tachibana got a chance to put it past her on a 50-50 chance.
Maurer had a shot on net after her two opportunities in the first frame, but couldn’t capitalize.
Leading scorer Jenna Rae Scaldaferri didn’t have a shot in the game for CCSU.
“Central is a really good team,” Harvard head coach Chris Hamblin said. “This is one of the better Central teams in years. They’ve got some good players and are deep. Their staff does a great job.”
It was a tough game offensively for CCSU with Harvard playing stout defense.
The defense did a great job preventing CCSU from getting good shots on net. Most of the shots put on Hess were weak.
“They’re an amazing back three and they play together really well,” Agnew said.
CCSU will face UConn on Sunday afternoon.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811, or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @OrencoleDan