Women's Soccer Opens NEC Play At Sacred Heart On Friday, Sept. 23 At 7 PM

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Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 – 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac University at Sacred Heart University
Campus Field – Fairfield, Conn.

Bobcats Begin Conference Play
The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team opens Northeast Conference play at Sacred Heart on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Campus Field in Fairfield, Conn. The Bobcats enter Friday’s match-up at 1-4-1 after picking up their first win of the year against Holy Cross, 1-0, on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Live stats and video will be available and can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart currently stands at 4-4-2 overall and are coming off two straight wins against Manhattan, 2-1, and Brown, 3-2. In its most recent outing against Brown, Sacred Heart’s Amanda Stiles scored two goals, including the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute of play. Lucy Gildein tallied one goal in the contest, while Heather Quevillion earned the assist on the game-winner. Stiles, a senior forward, currently leads the Pioneers with eight points and four goals, while junior midfielder Jen Mulvey posts six points and three goals on the year. Twelve different pioneers have picked up at least one point during the 2011 season. Junior goalie Sydney Judkins has appeared and started in seven games for Sacred Heart. Judkins has made 35 saves and allowed six goals this year.

All-Time Against The Pioneers
Friday’s match-up marks the 14th meeting between Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The Bobcats hold a 4-5-4 all-time record with the Pioneers. Last year, Quinnipiac defeated Sacred Heart, 1-0, on Oct. 29 at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field.

Last Time Out
The Bobcats won its first game of the 2011 season against Holy Cross, 1-0, on Sunday, Sept. 18. Quinnipiac sophomore defender Beck Kiting scored the game-winning goal, her first of the year and third of her career, in the 79th minute of play. The victory was Quinnipiac keeper Jill Kelley’s first shutout of the season.

Lessons From Lehigh
Prior to defeating Holy Cross, Quinnipiac dropped a non-conference game to Lehigh, 4-2, on Sept. 16. Junior Shauna Edwards scored her first goal of the year on assists from classmate Kemesha Woodfine and senior Furtuna Velaj. Velaj also scored in the match-up to increase her season-total to seven points.

Leading Ladies
Quinnipiac’s Furtuna Velaj currently leads the Bobcats with seven points, three goals and one assists, while junior Shauna Edwards has tallied a goal and an assist on the year.

Leave It To Lavoie
Jess Lavoie is the only freshman to start in each of the Bobcats’ six games this year.

Offense Opportunities
Senior Furtuna Velaj currently ranks fifth in the Northeast Conference in shots (24) and is tied for first amongst NEC players in shots per game (4.00). The Bobcats’ offensive threat is ranked sixth in the league with 1.17 points per game.

Kelley Saves The Day
With 31 combined saves, senior keeper Jill Kelley is currently ranked seventh in saves and fourth amongst conference goalies with 5.17 saves per game.

NEC Notes
Quinnipiac has committed the least amount of fouls (50) amongst its Northeast Conference opponents and also is ranked last in the offsides category, as it’s only been caught offsides only six times.

ESPN.com Features Furtuna
Last week, Furtuna Velaj was recognized in an article written by ESPN.com’s Graham Hays. The article features the Santa Clara University starting goalkeeper and 10 NCAA Division I women’s soccer players, whom hays feels will have a great potential to make an impact this season. Last year, Hays also wrote a feature, “From refugee to soccer star,” on Velaj’s journey from her native Kosovo to the United States, as well as her future aspirations in political science following her collegiate career. To access the article, “Santa Clara’s Henninger has no equal,” please click here.

Good Fortune
Velaj was also named a top potential draft pick by www.AllWhiteKit.com. The women’s soccer site also highlighted Velaj as one of the top collegiate forwards in the country.

NEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
The Quinnipiac University women’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth out of 11 teams, in the 2011 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Bobcats finished last season 7-7-4 overall and at 5-2-3 in conference play, which secured a spot for the Quinnipiac in the 2010 NEC Tournament.

Northeast Conference 2011 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll  
1.    Saint Francis (PA) (8)   
2.    Monmouth (2)
3.    Long Island
4.    Central Connecticut St. (1)
5.    Quinnipiac
6.    Sacred Heart
7.    Bryant
8.    Robert Morris
9.    Wagner
10.   Mount Saint Mary’s
11.   Fairleigh Dickinson
First place votes in parentheses ( ).

What’s Ahead for the Bobcats
The Bobcats continue play on the road when they face NEC opponent Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at University Stadium in Teaneck, N.J.

Quinnipiac kicks off October with four-straight contests at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field, including games against Robert Morris on Oct. 8, Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 9, Long Island on Oct. 14, and Wagner on Oct. 16. The team will then make trips to Monmouth on Oct. 21, Mount St. Mary’s on Oct. 23 and Central Connecticut State on Oct. 28, before hosing Bryant on Oct. 30 for the final game of the regular season.