Archive for category: Women’s college soccer

By Jordan Novack, Associate Sports Editor                Link to Original

For women’s soccer freshman Nadya Gill, the transition to college athletics has gone without an issue. In fact, it’s gone better than she might have imagined.

“Despite coming a long way from home, I have had a very easy time adapting to college,” Gill explained. “My teammates and coaches are like my family, and any problem I have had so far they have been able to help me figure out.”

The Toronto native, who won’t turn 18 years-old until Sept. 26, has scored three goals in her first five collegiate starts. All three of her goals were game-winners.

Despite her individual success, Gill is quick to pass the acclaim off to others.

“All of my success starts with the play of my teammates. They are so helpful communicating and [coach Dave Clarke] did an amazing job teaching us the system we play in so it has been effortless,” Gill said. “Our build-up play really begins with [Natalia Grodzki] in goal, works its way up through our talented midfield, and I am just lucky to be able to be up top and finish it.”


Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle                                 Gill runs towards the goal vs Siena 10/28/15

For Gill, this isn’t her first time making an instant impact for her team.

In 2013, at just 15, Gill played a major part in helping Team Canada bring home silver from the U17 CONCACAF tournament. In the tournament, the top teams from North and Central America, as well as from the Caribbean compete for a place in the World Cup.

Despite never starting for the team, Gill scored a goal in each of her four relief appearances. This time playing for the national team is an experience Gill will never forget.

“Having that experience playing for my national team was incredible, and really helped prepare me for many of the things I am dealing with now that I am at [Quinnipiac] University,” Gill said. “The feeling of playing and representing your country and knowing you have an entire nation of people is an incredible experience not many people get to have, and I feel beyond lucky to have experienced that in my life.”

It was this time playing for the national team that eventually put Gill on Quinnipiac’s radar. When it came to choosing schools, education was something that Gill really focused on.

“Nadya was a player we noticed in the Canadian national program as being undecided, but interested in coming to the United States,” Clarke explained. “When it came to her school, she wanted an Ivy League or somewhere very well respected because she wants to study law.”

With the school meeting Gill’s criteria, Clarke would use his connections in United States soccer to open the conversation with her and her national team coach.

“We reached out and talked to both her and her U17 coach, Brian Rosenfeld,” Clarke said. “And then she visited, took a look at the school, did some research and everything just fell into place.”

Gill has had instant success in her short tenure in a Bobcat uniform, but it isn’t a surprise in the eyes of coach Clarke.

“When you look historically at the best players in the history of the program—Furtuna Velaj, Sarah Lawler—they are all international players who hit the ground running,” Clarke explained. “When a good player is good, there is never an issue.”

“Like with Matt Peca and Sam Anas in hockey, if you are a good player you are a good player, and Nadya is a very good player.”

By Jordan Novack, Contributing Writer                 Link to Original


Fifth-year senior Taylor Healey has been on a collegiate roller coaster ride in every sense of the term. She faced all-time lows when she was forced to medical redshirt her freshman season due to an injury, then experienced the best of times as she was named Quinnipiac Women’s Soccer Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.

Now a recent injury is forcing her to miss all of her final season. She has experienced it all.

Growing up in nearby Milford, Healey enjoyed major success at Lauralton Hall High School. She was named First Team All-State in 2010, as well as Third Team All-New England.

Healey committed to Iona for the following fall, but then realized she made a mistake.

“After speaking to [Head Women’s Soccer Coach David Clarke] and doing two overnights, I realized this was the far better fit for me,” Healey said. “School-wise and soccer-wise, I am very happy with that decision. I would not have liked it at Iona.”

Although she had a tumultuous freshman year, including an ankle injury and appendicitis that affected her, Healey bounced back and blossomed into one of the all-time greats at Quinnipiac.

The defender considers last season to be her best yet as a Bobcat, calling it her “personal highlight.”

“[She earned the Player of the Year award] for a consistency of performance, determination and for possessing every other quality you look for,” Quinnipiac head coach Dave Clarke said. “She brings it to the field for 90 minutes.”

There’s one part of her game, in particular, that makes Healey proud: her toughness.

She mirrors resiliency and toughness after her role model, professional soccer player Abby Wambach.

The team watched a documentary about Wambach during the preseason, paying close attention to the tenacity she played with.

“I am the type of player who doesn’t leave a game without an injury. I go into everything and don’t second guess,” Healey said, comparing herself to Wambach.

In Healey’s sophomore season she suffered a head injury, one that would eventually need 37 stitches.

“She needed plastic surgery, but she was still attempting to stay on the field,” Clarke said. “Considering she was ambulanced to a nearby hospital, the toughness she showed by attempting to keep playing gave a true reflection of Taylor, both as a person, and as a player.”

Despite the tough persona she possesses, Taylor openly admits how she isn’t afraid to cry.

One example of this would be during a game against Central Connecticut State University during her sophomore year. Healey scored the game-winner on a volley from a corner.

“My coach had been joking during the week that ‘Taylor has no left foot,’” Healey said. “During the game I scored a volley off of my left foot, and I was so happy that I was literally standing on the middle of the pitch crying.”

Unfortunately, Healey’s career at Quinnipiac looks like it will end on a low note.

During the preseason, she tore two ligaments in her ankle and has been in a boot for the last five months. As she prepares for graduation in the winter, she spends three hours a day in the training room and rehabbing.

“Since [my career] was taken away from me before I had a chance to finish it, I am going to attempt to play overseas,” Healey said. “I don’t know how realistic that may be but I am going to try.”