Sunday Season Opener
The Quinnipiac University women's soccer team kicks off the 2009 season this Sunday when it travels to Providence, R.I. for a non-conference match-up against Providence College. The game starts at 1 p.m. at Glay Field.
Scouting the Friars
Providence opened its season on Aug. 28 and has compiled a 2-1 record so far on the season. The Friars most recently defeated UMass Amherst, 1-0, on Sept. 4. Senior forward Jill Camburn has scored two goals for Providence this season, both unassisted, to lead the team. Goalkeeper Caitlin Walker has made two starts in net for the Friars, making three saves.
Head Coach Dave Clarke has brought back 19 returning players from the 2008 roster, including his top five scorers. The Bobcats also introduced eight new players to this year's roster in forwards Christina Palmieri (Pelham, N.Y.), Jillian Strassner (Avon, Conn.), and Kemesha Woodfine (Stamford, Conn.); defenders Larissa Rosenberg (Piscataway, N.J.), Paula Kennedy (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.), and Katelyn Kirby; (Lynbrook, N.Y.), midfielder Shauna Edwards (Southington, Conn.) and goalkeeper Elizabeth Cook (Appleton, Wis.).
The Bobcats were picked to finish in fifth place of 11 teams in the 2009 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.The Bobcats closed the 2008 season with a 7-7-2 overall record and a 3-4-2 conference record, finishing sixth in the NEC.
The Bobcats return their top-scorer from last year in sophomore Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.). In her rookie season, the forward led the NEC in goals (15), points (31) and game-winning goals (7). Throughout the year, Velaj was a constant at the top of the NCAA scoring charts in goals per game (0.94) and points per game (1.94). During the 2008 season she earned three Brine/NEC Rookie of the Week awards, while also garnering Brine/NEC Player of the Week and ECAC Player of the Week after a hat trick performance against Robert Morris on Oct. 3.
Quinnipiac also returns its second-leading scorer in junior Meagan McLoughlin (Rocky Hill, Conn.). McLoughlin played both forward and defense for the Bobcats last season, and tallied 10 points on the year (four goals, two assists). She earned Brine/NEC and ECAC Player of the Week honors in late October after registering seven points over two games against Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart, Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.
At the end of the 2008 season, Velaj and McLoughlin were both recognized by the NEC for their efforts on the field. Velaj was named to the All-NEC First Team, while McLoughlin earned a spot on the All-NEC Second Team. In December of 2008, Velaj was also named to the NSCAA Division I All-Northeast Regional Second Team and the NEWISA All-New England Second Team.
Another top returner for the Bobcats this season is senior Susan Donovan (Cork, Ireland). Donovan led the team in assists in 2008, as she delivered four helpers last season. Donovan currently ranks seventh on the Quinnipiac All-Time Leader list in career assists with 12.
Two For The Show
Senior Amber Sidoti (Farmington, Conn.) and sophomore Chelsea Smith (Terryville, Conn.) each scored twice for the Bobcats last season, as they tied for third on the team in goals (2) and points (5).