HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac women’s soccer senior Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) was recognized in an article written by ESPN.com’s Graham Hays. The article lists Velaj as one of the top offensive players in the nation. 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.
“Furtuna's inclusion as one of the college players to watch in 2011 is great for her and great for the program,” said Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke. “The names she was mentioned with play at some of the most illustrious schools in all of college sports. For a player from Quinnipiac to be named among that group is a great honor for the school and the Northeast Conference.”
The article, “Santa Clara's Henninger has no equal,” highlights Santa Clara goalkeeper Bianca Henninger and features 10 NCAA Division I women’s soccer players, whom Hays feels will have great potential to make an impact this season.
“Velaj is as enthralling an individual talent as there is in college soccer,” said Hays.
Velaj has been one of the Bobcats’ top offensive threats in the past three seasons. The senior has received three All-New England honors and has been selected to the All-NEC first team for three-straight years. She’s also picked up five adidas/NEC Player of the Week accolades and two adidas/NEC Rookie of the Week titles. In addition, Velaj has registered 84 points, 35 goals and 14 assists in her collegiate career.
Last season, the forward and midfielder, led Quinnipiac to its second straight NEC Tournament as she tallied a team-leading 19 points, seven goals and five assists. Velaj currently leads the Bobcats with two goals on the year.
Quinnipiac continues play on the road when it takes on non-conference opponent Yale on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium in New Haven, Conn.