December 7, 2009

Velaj and Walleck Named To NEWISA All-New England Second Team

HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior defender Hanne Walleck (South Glastonbury, Conn.) and sophomore forward Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) of the Quinnipiac University women's soccer team were named to the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association's All-New England Second Team, honoring notable women's Division I soccer players across New England. This is the third post-season accolade for Walleck, while it is the second garnered by Velaj.

"Furtuna and Hanne deserve the recognition they have received and it is also a reflection of how well the team did in the fall," said head coach Dave Clarke. "Hanne has had an exceptional senior year and the success she has achieved in her final season should be a motivation to every player to never stop believing in their own ability. Furtuna has earned and will continue to earn accolades for her performances as a player. Hopefully next year she can take the final step and earn All America status."

Walleck truly stepped up in her final season at Quinnipiac, as she was the only player to start all 17 games in the 2009 season. The senior played every minute on the Bobcats' back line, helping the team's defense rank fourth in the Northeast Conference in goals-allowed with 24. Walleck's efforts on Quinnipiac's defensive line have been recognized three times during the 2009 postseason. After being named to the All-NEC Second Team and the All-NEC Tournament team, Walleck was also selected to play in the NEWISA Senior Bowl by New England Division I coaches.

Velaj saw another successful season on the field for the Bobcats, wrapping up her sophomore year with an impressive, team-leading 30 points. Velaj led the team in all offensive categories, tallying 11 goals and eight assists on the year, just one point shy of her rookie season tally where she combined for 15 goals and one assist for 31 points. Velaj also ranked atop the NEC leader boards in 2009, topping the conference in points per game (1.88) and goals per game (0.69). The forward's performance on the field earned her weekly conference honors twice, as she was named NEC Player of the Week on Sept. 21 and Oct. 19. Velaj was also named First Team All-Conference on Nov. 5 for the second consecutive season. This is the second time she has been named to the NEWISA All-New England Second Team.

The two All-New England teams were formed based upon votes by Division I women's soccer coaches in New England. Walleck and Velaj are two of three players from the NEC selected to the All-New England teams. Senior midfielder, Leah Blayney, of Central Connectict was named to the first team.