HAMDEN, Conn.- The Quinnipiac University Women's Soccer program inducted five members into their All-Time Team on Saturday, April 20, at their annual men's and women's soccer banquet. In 2007, the Top 20 players were announced in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the program. The five new additions of the team coincide with the 25th anniversary of the soccer program. The following five players were added to the All-Time Team for their contribution to the Quinnipiac Women's soccer program: Alison Jaquith, Justine Lombardi, Kyla Miles, Meagan McLoughlin and Furtuna Velaj.
The first Bobcat to be recognized under the Quinnipiac Women's Soccer Top 25 All-Time Team is Ali Jaquith. Jaquith appeared in over 50 games for Quinnipiac during her tenure with the program. She finished her career with 74 points at the strength of 33 goals and eight assists. The NEC recognized Jaquith with NEC Second Team honors in both the 1999 and 2000 seasons. The former forward led her team to back-to- back NEC Regular Season titles under head coach Dave Clarke in 2000 and 2001, which included an NEC Championship run in 2000. Jaquith's career was highlighted in the 2000 NCAA tournament where she netted the game winning goal versus Loyola College in the first round of action.
"Ali is one of my favorite players of all the players I have coached at Quinnipiac," said Clarke. "She was a very hard worker and an excellent forward who had a very impressive college career. The highlight of her career, for me, was her game winning goal in over-time against Loyola in the 2000 NCAA Tournament and then her teammates running out on to the field to celebrate with her."
Justine Lombardi, class of 2010, appeared in 64 games while starting in 58 of them for the Bobcats. The midfielder accounted for one goal and eight assists during her time in Hamden. Lombardi also helped lead the team to the Northeast Conference Tournament in 2009, as the Bobcats garnered the No. 3 seed of the single-elimination playoff. Today, the Enfield, Conn. native assists Clarke on the sidelines for Quinnipiac.
"Justine was the heart and soul of the team for her four years in the program," Clarke remarked. "She was a great leader and a very committed player. She was one of the hardest working and most consistent players I have ever coached. The highlight of her career for me was her goal at home against Long Island. The goal helped us qualify for the 2009 NEC tournament."
The next recipient was Kyla Miles, class of 2012, who led the Bobcats to the NEC tournament in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Miles started in 56 of 66 games while at Quinnipiac and handed out six assists along the way. She was named to the 2010 NEC All-Tournament Team for her performance on the field and was recognized as a part of the NEC All-Conference Second Team at the end of the 2011 campaign.
"Kyla was one of the most consistent players in the program throughout her Quinnipiac career," said Clarke. "She rarely had a bad game and developed into an excellent Division I defender. The highlight of her career for me was a tackle she made in the NEC Semifinal in 2010, which demonstrated the commitment Kyla had to the team."
The next recipient to be named to the All-Time Team was Meagan McLoughlin, class of 2011. McLoughlin started in 64 of the 68 games she appeared in at Quinnipiac. During her career, the Rocky Hill, Conn. native collected 12 goals and six assists, reaching the 30-point plateau in her final season. McLoughlin was named to the NEC's Second Team in 2008 and 2010, while helping the program to back-to-back NEC tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010.
"Meg was one of the most versatile players ever to play at Quinnipiac and excelled in whatever position she played," Clarke commented. "She developed into a great leader and a very dominant central midfield player. The highlight of her career for me was her volley against Central Connecticut in 2010 when we beat them, 4-2."
The final Bobcat to be recognized for her contribution to the program was Furtuna Velaj, class of 2010. She started in 64 of 66 games in her career, despite overcoming a severe injury before her senior season. Velaj tallied 94 points in her career at the strength of 39 goals and 16 assists. The forward from Stamford, Conn. received three consecutive NEC First Team All-Conference laurels (2008, 2009, 2010) and took Quinnipiac to the NEC tournament in 2009 and 2010. Velaj was also named to the NSCAA All–Northeast Region Team in 2008 and 2009, as well as the NESIWA All-New England Second Team in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"Furtuna was one of the most talented players to have ever played for Quinnipiac," said Clarke. "She accomplished a lot in her four years at the school and were she 100% fit following an injury in her senior year she might have achieved a lot more. The highlight of her career, for me, was her winning goal in the torrential rain at Mount St. Mary's in the last second of double over-time. That goal will always bring a smile to my face."