Women's Soccer Faces Lehigh In Home Opener On Friday, Sept. 16 At 4 PM

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Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 – 4 p.m.
Quinnipiac University vs. Lehigh University
Quinnipiac Soccer Field – Hamden, Conn.

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 – 1 p.m.
Quinnipiac University vs. College of the Holy Cross
Quinnipiac Soccer Field – Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Play Home Opener On Friday
The Quinnipiac women’s soccer team plays its home opener against Lehigh University on Friday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats will then host College of the Holy Cross on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. The Bobcats enter the weekend at 0-3-1 after a 2-0 loss at Yale on Tuesday night.

Live stats and audio will be available and can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Lehigh
Lehigh enters Friday’s non-conference game at 1-2-1 on the year. The Mountain Hawks tied Seton Hall, 1-1, in its season opener and then defeated Binghamton, 1-0, for their only win of the season on Sept. 2. Following the victory, Lehigh went on to lose two consecutive games against Monmouth, 2-1, and Marist, 2-1. Isabelle Li currently leads the team with four points and two goals, while Leah Kulp and Hannah Cochran have each scored a goal this season. Last year, the Mountain Hawks won their first-ever Patriot League Championship, under the leadership of head coach Eric Lambinus, who enters his second season with the team.

All-Time Against The Mountain Hawks
Friday’s match-up marks the seventh all-time meeting with the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh currently leads the all-time series with Quinnipiac, 6-0. Last year, the Bobcats fell, 3-2, on the road at Lehigh.

Scouting Holy Cross
After three straight losses against Hartford, Providence and Maine, the Crusaders picked up their first win of the year against Central Connecticut State, 2-0. The team then fell, 1-0, at Fairfield on Sept. 11. In their most recent outing, the Crusaders shut out Bryant, 1-0, to improve their overall record to 2-4-0. Freshman midfielder Gina Righini scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of play off a pass from senior Lauren Wright. Crusaders’ keeper Carly McCabe collected eight saves in the match.

All-Time Against Holy Cross
The Bobcats lead the all-time series with Holy Cross, 5-4. Quinnipiac also holds an all-time record of 4-1 at home and is 1-3 on the road against the Crusaders.

Last Time Out
In their most recent outing, the Bobcats lost, 2-0, at intrastate foe Yale University. Despite the defeat, Quinnipiac had a solid performance. “It was probably the first time in the 13 years we’ve come to Yale that we really gave them a game,” said head coach Dave Clarke. Quinnipiac goalie Jill Kelley had a tremendous game as she made six big stops in net.

Leading Ladies
Quinnipiac senior Furtuna Velaj currently leads the Bobcats with four points and two goals, while junior Shauna Edwards has tallied one assist on the year.

Leave It To Lavoie
Jess Lavoie is the only freshman to start in each of the Bobcats’ games this year. The rookie midfielder is one of five Bobcats to start in each of Quinnipiac’s four games.

ESPN.com Features Furtuna
Last week, senior Furtuna Velaj was recognized in an article written by ESPN.com’s Graham Hays. The article features the Santa Clara University starting goalkeeper and 10 NCAA Division I women’s soccer players, whom hays feels will have a great potential to make an impact this season. Last year, Hays also wrote a feature, “From refugee to soccer star,” on Velaj’s journey from her native Kosovo to the United States, as well as her future aspirations in political science following her collegiate career. To access the article, “Santa Clara’s Henninger has no equal,” please click here.

Tough Competition
Prior to Hartford, the Bobcats lost to Hartford and Siena, 1-0, on the road. Despite the losses, the Bobcats put together 15 shots between the two games, while goalie Jill Kelley made eight saves combined.

Season Opener
Quinnipiac tied Canisius, 2-2, after 110 minutes of play, in its season opener on Friday, Sept. 2. Senior Furtuna Velaj led the Bobcats as she scored each of their two goals. Junior Shauna Edwards helped create both opportunities and was awarded an assist on Velaj’s first goal of the game. The assist gave Edwards’ her 10th career point and fourth career assist. In addition, Jill Kelley kept the Bobcats alive with six stops in net.

Good Fortune
Senior Furtuna Velaj was recently named a top potential draft pick by www.AllWhiteKit.com. The women’s soccer site also name Velaj as one of the top collegiate forwards in the country

NEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
The Quinnipiac University women’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth out of 11 teams, in the 2011 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Bobcats finished last season 7-7-4 overall and at 5-2-3 in conference play, which secured a spot for the Quinnipiac in the 2010 NEC Tournament.

Northeast Conference 2011 Women's Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll  
1.    Saint Francis (PA) (8)   
2.    Monmouth (2)
3.    Long Island
4.    Central Connecticut St. (1)
5.    Quinnipiac
6.    Sacred Heart
7.    Bryant
8.    Robert Morris
9.    Wagner
10.   Mount Saint Mary’s
11.   Fairleigh Dickinson
First place votes in parentheses ( ).

What’s Ahead for the Bobcats
After this weekend’s home games, Quinnipiac will play its first Northeast Conference games of the year at Sacred Heart on Sept. 23 and Fairleigh Dickinson on Sept. 30.

Quinnipiac kicks off October with four-straight contests at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field, including games against Robert Morris on Oct. 8, Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 9, Long Island on Oct. 14, and Wagner on Oct. 16. The team will then make trips to Monmouth on Oct. 21, Mount St. Mary’s on Oct. 23 and Central Connecticut State on Oct. 28, before hosing Bryant on Oct. 30 for the final game of the regular season.