The accomplishment is the latest in a long list of honors for the sophomore forward from Stamford, Conn., and her first academic honor. This season, Velaj leads Quinnipiac in goals (8), assists (8) and points (16) while ranking among the Northeast Conference and NCAA Division I leaders. Her 1.85 points and 0.62 goals per game lead the NEC.
Last season, Velaj led the Northeast Conference in goals (15), points (31) and game-winning goals (7). She was also named the Brine/NEC Rookie of the week four times and the Player of the Week once. In addition, she was named the Quinnipiac Athlete of the Month for August, September and October. For her outstanding freshman campaign, Velaj was named to the All-Northeast Conference First Team, the NSCAA Division I All-Northeast Regional Second Team and the NEWISA All-New England Second Team.
"I think it's one of those awards that sometimes flies under the radar," said head coach Dave Clarke. "The assumption is that this goes to someone extremely academic, but her ability on the field and background as the consummate student-athlete is impressive."
"Furtuna gets the credit for being an athlete, she gets the credit for being a player and everything you hear about her over the last year has been from a soccer angle," Clarke added. "But if you look at her background and what she wants to do in her career, she is very smart, very astute and knows what she wants in life. This recognizes her for what she has done academically to date."
The 2009 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Teams for men's soccer and women's soccer consist of a University Division (Division I programs) and a College Division (DII, DIII programs).
Three Academic All-District teams are chosen in each district, with those on the All-District first teams placed on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Nominations and voting for the All-America programs are conducted by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.