For the second straight year, the Quinnipiac University women's soccer and field hockey teams will be holding a benefit for the Susan G. Komen "Play For The Cure" program on Sunday, Oct. 18. In honor of the organization, the Bobcats will be wearing pink tee shirts in their pre-game warm up before facing off against Wagner College at 12 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field. In their last outing, Quinnipiac defeated Long Island, 3-0, on Oct. 16.
Scouting the Seahawks
The Seahawks have compiled a 1-11-2 overall record this season, with a 0-5-1 mark in Northeast Conference action. Wagner most recently fell to conference-leader Central Connecticut, 8-0, on Oct. 16. Freshman forward Ariane Ackerman currently leads the team with six points (3 goals) this season. Junior goalkeeper Samantha Schueschner has started 13 games for the Seahawks this season, posting a .704 save percentage.
All-Time Against Wagner
The Bobcats hold a 6-3-1 record against Wagner in the past ten seasons, last meeting on Oct. 19 in Staten Island last year. The Seahawks came away with a close 1-0 victory in that game, with sophomore Briana Vassallo scoring the lone goal of the game with thirty seconds remaining in the first half. Quinnipiac forward Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) led all players with eight shots, and goalkeeper Jillian Kelley (Simsbury, Conn.) recorded seven saves in net.
In the game against Long Island, Velaj contributed to each of the Bobcats' three goals, recording five points on the day. The forward assisted on the first two goals, crossing the ball to Jillian Strassner (Avon, Conn.) in the third minute of play for the 1-0 lead, and drilled a free-kick off the cross bar in the tenth minute that was headed in by Kristina Del Mistro (East Williston, N.Y.) to extend the lead to two. Velaj then scored her seventh goal of the season in the 69th minute of play when she took a hard shot across the goalmouth that ricocheted off a Long Island defender into the net for the score. The sophomore leads the team in all offensive categories with 19 points (7 goals, 5 assists).
Freshman goalkeeper Biz Cook (Appleton, Wis.) has yet to register a loss in her four appearances in net for Quinnipiac. The rookie notched her third shutout of the season in the win against Long Island on Oct. 16, pulling down five saves in the win. Cook has a 3-0-1 record in goal so far this season.
Freshman midfielder Strassner (Avon, Conn.) and sophomore wing Del Mistro each nabbed their third goal of the season in the victory against Long Island. In the third minute of play, Strassner collected a loose ball batted away by the Blackbirds goalkeeper and tipped it into the left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead. During a free kick opportunity in the tenth minute of play, Del Mistro connected with the rebounded ball off the cross bar with a header into the upper left corner for the score. Del Mistro ranks second on the team in points with seven, while Strassner ranks third with six.
The Road to the Playoffs
After the 3-0 victory against Long Island on Oct. 16, Quinnipiac moves into fourth place with ten points in NEC play, tied with Mount St. Mary's and Robert Morris. Central Connecticut continues to command the top spot with 15 points, with Monmouth ranking second with 13 points, and St. Francis (PA) in the three spot with 12 points. The top four finishers, based on winning percentage during the Conference's regular season will compete in the two-day, single-elimination tournament. The high seed will host the entire event on Nov. 6-8.
Along with topping her team and conference statistics, Velaj has also been recognized nationally for her efforts on the pitch. As of Oct. 11, Velaj ranks 28th in the nation in points-per game with 1.67.