October 24, 2009

Furtuna Velaj's Last-Second Goal Lifts Women's Soccer Past Mount St. Mary's, 3-2, In Double Overtime

EMMITSBURG, Md. - Sophomore Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal with one second remaining in double overtime as the Quinnipiac University women's soccer team defeated Mount St. Mary's, 3-2, Friday night at Waldron Family Stadium. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 6-5-2 (5-1-1 NEC), while the Mountaineers fall to 5-9-2 (3-3-1 NEC).

Velaj's team-leading eighth goal of the season was set up by Meagan McLoughlin (Rocky Hill, Conn.), who found Velaj with a through ball into the 18-yard box. Velaj then beat the clock and Mount St. Mary's goalkeeper Alicia Miller into the upper right corner.

"We played well in the toughest rain conditions I've ever seen," said head coach Dave Clarke. "Their keeper came up with some good saves and we took some great shots that just missed the goal. This win makes up for a lot of frustration beating a team we've struggled with in the past. It was key coming out with the three points."

For the game, Susan Donovan (Cork, Ireland) and McLoughlin led the Bobcats with a goal and an assist each. Meghamn Brennan led the Mountaineers with a pair of markers. Quinnipiac goalkeeper Biz Cook (Appleton, Wis.) earned the win, turning away seven Mountaineer shots, while Miller also made seven saves in defeat.

Brennan scored the game's first goal, her first of the season, just four minutes into the game to put the Mount out in front, 1-0. The teams battled back and forth before Velaj was awarded a penalty kick in the 16th minute. But Velaj's blast was stopped by Miller. The Quinnipiac defense clamped down, allowing the Mount offense just two shots in the rest of the first half, both stopped by Cook.

Donovan evened the score in the 29th minute with her first goal of the season. Donovan's goal was unassisted and sent the Bobcats into halftime with the score tied, 1-1.

McLoughlin scored her first goal of the season to give Quinnipiac its first lead of the game, 2-1, in the 57th minute. Quinnipiac was awarded a free kick, which Donovan blasted through the box, finding McLoughlin for the goal. Donovan's assist was her second of the season. Brennan scored less than a minute later to tie the game again at 2-2. Brennan picked up a loose ball in the box and beat Cook for the goal.

The Bobcats return to action Sunday, when they travel to West Long Branch, N.J., to take on Monmouth, which is tied with the Bobcats for second place in the NEC after falling today to league-leading Central Connecticut. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Monmouth's Great Lawn.