By: Bobby Schilling
(Hamden, CT)-The women’s soccer team earned a hard fought victory Sunday afternoon at Bobcat Field, edging an undefeated Canisius team 1-0. Freshman Furtuna Velaj continued her terrific year as she scored the game’s lone goal with just over 8 minutes left in regulation.
The game was a physical stalemate, which contributed to the sloppy play early by both teams.
“We didn’t play our style in the first half, it was a little dirtier than we would have liked,” said defenseman Kate Ahearn, who anchored the Bobcats solid defense which held Canisius to just two shots on goal.
Quinnipiac was able to apply plenty of offensive pressure, but they were plagued by offsides calls and untimely turnovers.
The physicality picked up in the second half as bodies were flying all over the field. The pace also increased as the game opened up and both teams went up and down with plenty of scoring chances, but no one converting.
Velaj finally took advantage with 8:11 left to play. She ran into the box on a free ball and was able to get hear head on the ball just before a huge collision with Canisius goalie Daniella Pettinari. The ball went over Pettinari’s head and into the goal, leaving her and Velaj in a heap on the ground. Both players would be alright.
Bobcat’s head coach Dave Clarke highlighted the magnitude of the team’s victory saying, “It’s important for our mentality heading into conference play.”
Quinnipiac will do just that on Wednesday when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on Robert Morris University in their first NEC game. Quinnipiac improves to 4-2 on the season, as Canisius suffers their first loss and drops to 5-1-3.