HAMDEN, Conn - Quinnipiac University women's soccer sophomore Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's (NSCAA) NCAA Division I Women's All-Northeast Region Third Team. She earned the honor after her 30-point season with the Bobcats in 2009. This is the third postseason award for Velaj, as she received NEWISA All-New England honors last week and was named to the All-Northeast Conference First Team in early November.
"Furtuna had a good year as has been recognized by the NSCAA regional committee," said head coach Dave Clarke. "However, she was capable of achieving more this season and may have in fact underachieved a little. With more application in her final two seasons at Quinnipiac she might be able to improve on this honor and receive first team recognition or better yet, All-America status."
Velaj continued her offensive leadership for Quinnipiac in 2009, ranking first on the team in all scoring categories with 11 goals and eight assists for 30 points. The forward also ranked in the top three of all NEC offensive categories, topping the league in 2009 in both points per game (1.88) and goals per game (0.69). In her freshman season, Velaj combined for a similar point-tally, scoring 15 goals and adding one assist for 31 points.
The forward is listed amongst the best in the Northeast Region, which includes players from Notre Dame, Loyola (Md.), Villanova, Georgetown, Rutgers, Marquette and Maine. Velaj was one of six players from the NEC to be named to one of the NSCAA All-Region Teams. Mary Wilks, Ali Kliment and Lia Fierro (Monmouth) each earned a spot on the list, while Leah Blayney and Karise Hilt (Central Connecticut State) both landed on a team as well. NEC Player of the Year, Blayney, was the only NEC representative that was named to the All-Northeast Region First Team.Velaj has already made her mark on the women's soccer program at Quinnipiac after just two years on the field. As a freshman in 2008, Velaj set a program record at the Division I level when she notched ten points against the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sept. 21. The sophomore already ranks third in the program's history in career goals (26) and career points (61). Sharon Polastry, a 1997 graduate, holds the current record in both categories with 77 career goals and 176 career points.