Women's Soccer Earns First NEC Win At Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-2

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TEANECK, N.J. – The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-2, in its first Northeast Conference victory of the 2011 season on Friday night. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 2-5-1 on the year and 1-1-0 in conference play, while the Knights drop to 3-5-1 overall and 0-2-0 in NEC action.

Quinnipiac took an early 2-0 advantage at the start of the first half as senior Furtuna Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) and junior Crystal Burns (Overland Park, Kan.) each scored a goal for the Bobcats. Velaj scored her first goal of the match-up, with two minutes on the clock, off a throw in from sophomore defender Beck Kiting (Canberra, Australia). Less than a minute later, Burns scored her first goal of the year off of a pass from Shauna Edwards (Southington, Conn.). Burns directed her shot into the lower right-hand corner of net at the top of the 18-yard box.

In the 19th minute of play, the Bobcats increased their lead, 3-0, when Velaj scored her fifth goal of the season. Senior Kristina Del Mistro (East Williston, N.Y.) passed to Velaj who then dribbled on the right side of the field and shot past Tanzi into the lower middle of the net.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Knights’ Lisa Marie Curti narrowed the gap, 3-1, as she scored a header for Fairleigh Dickinson’s first goal of the game, her second goal of the season.

The Bobcats responded in the 60th minute when Edwards scored her third goal of 2011 on a corner kick by Kiting. Edwards blasted a shot at FDU keeper Stephanie Tanzi, who made the save, but Edwards recovered the ball and scored on the rebound.

Fairleigh Dickinson would score its second goal in the 74th minute by Alexa Tirelli on a cross from Lilja Gunnarsdottir.

“We played very well in the first half,” said head coach Dave Clarke. “We lost concentration a couple of times, but the result was never in doubt. The most important thing is a win and three points.”

Overall, Quinnipiac outshot Fairleigh Dickinson, 13-10. Senior goalie Jill Kelley (Simsbury, Conn.) made two saves for the Bobcats, while Knights’ keeper Stephanie Tanzi had six stops in net. Quinnipiac freshman goalkeeper Tori Graessle (Millburn, N.J.) also saw minutes in the second half in her collegiate debut.

The Bobcats return to action when they host NEC opponents Robert Morris on Friday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. and Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Noon. Both games will be played at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field in Hamden, Conn.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu