The Quinnipiac University women's soccer team will head to Central Connecticut State Friday, Nov. 6 to take on Monmouth University in the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals. The Bobcats will face off against the Hawks at 1:30 p.m., in their first postseason appearance since 2004. In its last outing, Quinnipiac defeated Saint Francis (PA), 1-0, in its final regular-season home game on Nov. 1.
If You Can't Be There...
The game can be heard live on the WQAQ webstream. Mike Radomski will provide play-by-play, while Robin Schuppert will be alongside to add color. Fans can also follow the game with live stats provided by Central Connecticut, or by the live video stream provided by Northeast Conference TV. All can be accessed by clicking the appropriate links above.
Scouting the Hawks
Monmouth finished their regular season with a 13-4-1 overall record with an 8-1-1 final record in the NEC, most recently defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-0, on Nov. 1. Junior forward Mary Wilks leads the team offensively with 27 points (11 goals, 5 assists). Junior goalkeeper Lia Fierro has appeared in all 18 games for the Hawks, posting a .841 save percentage with league-low goals against average of 0.54. Fierro also leads the league in shutouts with 12.
Last Time Against the Hawks
Quinnipiac and Monmouth last met on Oct. 25 in West Long Branch, N.J. where the Hawks came away with the 4-1 victory, dealing the Bobcats their only loss in October. Monmouth went up 2-0 before Quinnipiac cut the lead in half in the 83rd minute of play with a goal by Meagan McLoughlin (Rocky Hill, Conn.). McLoughlin earned the first touch off a Bobcat corner kick into the upper right corner of the net for her second goal of the season. The Hawks went on to score back-to-back goals in the 85th and 89th minute to earn the 4-1 victory.
The NEC Women's Soccer Championship will take place on Nov. 6 and 8 hosted by top-seeded Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. The single-elimination tournament kicks off at 11 a.m. on Friday when Central Connecticut will take on fourth seeded Long Island. That game is followed by number two Monmouth taking on the third-place Quinnipiac at 1:30 p.m. The winners of each game will go on to play Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in the championship. The winner of the NEC Tournament receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA College Cup. First-round action begins on Nov. 13 on campus sites to be determined.
In their final regular season game against Saint Francis (PA) on Nov. 1, the Bobcats honored their seven graduating seniors playing in their final game at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field. Quinnipiac came away with the 1-0 victory in that game, with the lone goal scored by senior forward Lindsay Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.) in the 38th minute of play. Positioned at the right corner of the scorer's box, Oliveri received a pass from Kristina Del Mistro (East Williston, N.Y.) and tipped the ball over the goalkeepers' head for her second career goal.
Rookie goalkeeper Biz Cook (Appleton, Wis.) picked up two NEC weekly awards after the Bobcats' 2-0 shutout performance against Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA) on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. Cook earned both adidas/NEC Rookie of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week honors after she recorded 15 saves in 141 minutes of play on the weekend. The freshman split time in net with junior goalkeeper Kendra Margulies (Weston, Mass.), earning both starts and both wins for Quinnipiac. The wins improve Cook's record to 7-1-1 on the year, posting a .936 save percentage on the season.
Del Mistro recorded the second assist of her career in the Bobcats' 1-0 win against Saint Francis (PA) on Nov. 1. The sophomore dished a pass to Oliveri in front of the net, where the senior tipped the ball over the keepers' head for the score. Del Mistro ranks third on the team in points (8) and goals (3).
Sophomore forward Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) and rookie keeper Cook each finished atop the NEC rankings as the regular season came to a close on Nov. 1. Velaj finished in first or second in all offensive categories except game-winning goals in the conference. The forward ranked first in goals (11), goals per game (0.73), and points per game (2.00), while finishing ranked second in points (30), assists (0.53), assists per game (0.72), shots (79) and shots per game (5.27). Cook finished ranked third in goals-against average (0.98), save percentage (.836) and finished ranked fourth in shutouts per game (0.33).
In addition to finishing atop the NEC leader boards, Velaj also ranked nationally in a number of offensive categories. The sophomore finished the regular season ranked eighth in points per game, 15th in assists per game, and 20th in goals per game.