Women's Soccer Volunteers At Special Olympics Event

HAMDEN, Conn. - Nine members of the Quinnipiac University women's soccer team volunteered at the Fall 2009 Middle School Unified Sports Soccer Tournament on Oct. 6 sponsored by the CIAC and Special Olympics Connecticut. The team was on hand to officiate and assist the participants in the tournament. This is the tenth consecutive year that the team has helped out at this event.

"As a Quinnipiac athlete, it's a great opportunity to be able to give back to the community," said senior forward Lindsay Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.). "It's very rewarding to see the kids smiling and enjoying soccer, and our team has just as much fun as they do."

The tournament took place at Quinnipiac Park in Cheshire, Conn. where the Bobcats served as referees for each game in the event. The players on staff were Oliveri, Justine Lombardi (Enfield, Conn.), Kara Barrepski (Ellington, Conn.), Molly McNeil (Medfield, Mass.), Jen Hartman (Cranston, R.I.), Meagan McLoughlin (Rocky Hill, Conn.), Chelsea Smith (Terryville, Conn.), Larissa Rosenberg (Piscataway, N.J.) and Biz Cook (Appleton, Wis.).

"It is great to give back to our own sport and to athletes who deserve recognition and support," said head coach Dave Clarke. "The athletes who participate in Special Olympics do so for the love of the game and it is sport in its purist form. It is great to be involved in a soccer event where results are immaterial. The benefit of volunteering for any Special Olympics event is that my players learn to appreciate all that life has afforded them."

"It's a wonderful experience for the team and it feels great being able to give back to the community," said Lombardi. "Not only does it make us appreciate the abilities we have been blessed with as athletes, but playing Division I soccer can get pretty serious at times; watching those kids play and seeing the smiles on their faces regardless of whether they are winning or losing reminds us why we all play in the first place- for the love of the game."

The Quinnipiac women's soccer team returns to action this weekend when they travel to Mount St. Mary's and Monmouth in Northeast Conference action. The Bobcats will play the Mountaineers on Friday at 3 p.m., and will take on the Hawks on Sunday at 1 p.m.