Post Tagged with: " Quinnipiac "

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original


Following a 7-0 victory in the first game of ECAC Quarterfinals series against Princeton (15-13-2) the previous night, No. 6 Quinnipiac (25-7-3) looked to finish the series in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Arena.

Quinnipiac did just that, downing Princeton 2-0 to move on to the ECAC Semifinals.

“We figured out [we] needed to improve on the little things, and we then we pulled it together against Princeton, arguably the hottest team in the ECAC going into the playoffs,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said. “I’m very happy with how we played.”

The Bobcats started the game showing momentum from their previous win, outshooting the Tigers 11-3 in the first period. Shiann Darkangelo had her goal overturned with 4:03 left in the period, which would have given Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead.

Quinnipiac took advantage of a Princeton penalty early in the second, however, as Nicole Connery tucked a Taylor Cianfarano pass into the bottom right of the net for her 13th goal of the year.

Princeton goalie Kimberly Newell had 34 saves just a day after giving up seven scored to the Bobcats. Newell made an athletic grab of a would be Darkangelo goal in the second period.

“[Newell] came out and played an amazing game, and made the saves I expected her to make,” Connery said. “After playing with her in camps for years, a game like the first one surprises me. Today, she was catching all the saves she should make, as well as stopping ones with the smallest parts of her equipment that we thought should have gone in.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers were only able to manage to get off 11 shots in the last two periods of regulation. Nicole Brown scored her 3rd goal of the season with 12 seconds left, after Newell had been pulled, to secure a 2-0 win for the Bobcats.

“I thought we followed up yesterday’s game with a good effort, and we are real happy with a 2-0 win,” Seeley said. “When you run into slumps, you are never sure why. So we watched a lot of video, we actually showed them every goal we have scored this season, and how they made those happen.”

The game also marks Senior goalkeeper Chelsea Laden’s 16th shutout of the season. The number is already an ECAC best, surpassing Erica Howe of Clarkson’s previous record of 14.

Laden is now one shutout shy of tying former Minnesota goalkeeper Noora Räty’s record of 17 in one season. Additionally, it came in Laden’s final home game in a Quinnipiac uniform.

“There were a lot of emotions tonight,” Laden said, “I was very happy, and I couldn’t have been more proud of my team, and as a senior there is no other way I would have liked to end out my home career.”

Up next, the Bobcats prepare for No. 4 Harvard (25-5-3), the one team they have yet to defeat in ECAC play this season.

“We’ve played Harvard tough both times this year, and in both cases we were up one goal, and we gave up a weak goal relatively after.” Seely said.

“If we go up 1-0, it has to be a one-nothing game and we have to understand that. This is where we wanted to be this season, as part of the final four of the conference, and we are prepared for the two tough battles we have ahead of us.”

The Bobcats travel to Cheel Arena in Potsdam, New York to battle with the Harvard next weekend

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

In just two years, Shiann Darkangelo has left her mark on the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey program.

Despite spending her freshman and sophomore seasons at Syracuse University, the senior forward has helped elevate the Bobcats to new levels.

Last season, her first at Quinnipiac, Darkangelo registered 40 points. The total is the fifth highest in program history.

“She is part of a line that is a force for us,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seely said. “She’s driven, works hard, and her ability to forecheck and maintain control of the puck during battles is huge for us.”

Darkangelo said she didn’t know what to expect when she first got to Quinnipiac, and that she didn’t even know if she’d earn playing time prior to the start of the season.

“I didn’t feel like a rookie,” Darkangelo said. “So I knew what to expect somewhat, but I came in knowing I had to work hard and prove myself so that I would be able to even earn a place on the ice.”

Now, in her second season with the team, Darkangelo’s performance both in games and in the locker room has been a major factor in Quinnipiac’s rise to a No. 5 national ranking.

“On the ice [Darkangelo] is a big, dominant player who has been scoring consistently, and she has just been invaluable,” Seeley said. “Off the ice she has been a huge leader for us. To be voted [alternate] captain by her teammates and peers despite only being here for one season is a testament to the impact she has had on our program.”

On the ice, Darkangelo plays on the first line with junior Nicole Kosta and senior Erica Uden Johansson. The line has been a consistent force for the Bobcats on both ends of the ice, as the three players lead the team in plus/minus this year.

“I think with Kosta and UJ, we are a strong line that can be matched up against any team’s first line and keep them from scoring,” Darkangelo said. “For example, against Clarkson we were matched up with a first line that has several gifted scorers, and they didn’t get any points against us.”

Darkangelo also described the balance in the three player’s attributes, which she feels makes the line work well together.

“We have two big bodies between me and UJ, and then there is Kosta who always works hard on the ice,” Darkangelo said. “Now that we are starting to figure out where the others are going to be on the ice, our chemistry is continually improving.”

Despite being one of the team’s most well-rounded players, Seeley still sees areas in which Darkangelo can improve her game.

“She has to keep working on her game away from the puck,” Seely said. “She has improved as a shot blocker for us, she consistently wants to work on good movement and smart movement away from the puck, and is able to move the puck quickly.”

In Quinnipiac’s Jan. 30 game against Harvard, Darkangelo put her name in the program record books once again. With her second period assist, Darkangelo became the second player in team history to register 100 points for her career.

“During the game I had an idea it was my 100th point, but that was only because people kept telling me about it,” Darkangelo said. “I don’t like to be focused on that kind of thing. If I go out there thinking ‘oh I have to score,’ typically it doesn’t happen, because it turns into forcing it instead of playing my game, and although I wish we had won the game, it was still an exciting moment.”

One of the contrasts Darkangelo has noticed about Quinnipiac in comparison to Syracuse is the general atmosphere surrounding the program.

“While I don’t want to downplay the Syracuse program, [at Quinnipiac] there are more people willing to do extra and push me to put in the extra work,” Darkangelo said. “I feel that now with the heavier focus on hockey, I am more enabled to get to the next step.”

Growing up with five other siblings, Darkangelo’s competitive nature has been present since her youth.

“My brothers, sisters and I would always play soccer and other games in the backyard when we were younger, and that definitely made me pretty competitive,” Darkangelo said. “Now, even though my brother plays college football [at Ferris State], we train together when I’m home for summer. The competitive edge still comes out.”

The competitive relationship with her brother led to Darkangelo’s start in hockey, as well.

“My younger brother and I would always go and watch our cousins play high school hockey, and when my brother started to play, I thought, ‘hey I want to go do that,’ and I was one of the better players on the team,” Darkangelo said. “I played boy’s hockey until I was about 10 or 11, and then my dad started a team and I started to play travel hockey, and this helped me realize one day that ‘hey, maybe I could do this at a Division 1 level.”

Now, with just four games left before the conference tournament, Darkangelo and the Bobcats have big goals they hope to accomplish during the remainder of their season.

“We want to win the ECAC, and get a shot at the national championship, and I think that we are very capable of doing that. If you look at the rankings, they are very close, which makes it fair game, with only one game being able to change a season.”

In terms of her own play, Darkangelo just wants to help the Bobcats reach those goals in any way possible.

“Individually, I want to step up and continue to be a leader on this team, and do whatever it takes to help my teammates accomplish those two goals.”

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

In its first nationally-televised game of the season, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team looked to leave a strong impression on the fans watching across the country.

And led by big games from Zaid Hearst and Ousmane Drame, the Bobcats scored big in a conference win over Manhattan.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Quinnipiac’s defeated Manhattan 73-59 Friday night on ESPNU.

“That was a big win against an opponent we have a lot of respect for,” Moore said. “We have got a lot of guys sacrificing right now, so to get wins over respected opponents is important.”

Drame recorded 12 points, 4 blocks and 19 rebounds in the win. Hearst, meanwhile, led Quinnipiac’s charge offensively by scoring 23 points in the victory.

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle               Hearst goes up for the layup over the Manhattan defender

The double-double was Drame’s 14th of the season, which is tied for tops in the nation.

“[Ous] was great, he’s got everything,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “He is in a good place right now. He’s not perfect, but when he plays with that energy level it’s inspiring. If his energy level is like that, his numbers will always follow.”

Emmy Andujar recorded 25 points and 12 rebounds for Manhattan, while Ashton Pankey had 18 points on the night.

“Andujar is a tough match up,” Drame said, “He is a three, two, and he plays the four position, he’s like a point forward. Strong, big bodied, overall he was a tough match up for us.”

The Jaspers remained in a smothering press defense on Quinnipiac all night, keeping the game close until the final minutes.

“We made a few dumb turnovers early in the second half trying to beat the press,” Hearst said. “But we did a good job adjusting, and figuring out how to beat their press and put up some points.”

After the game, Moore also spoke of how important point guard Kasim Chandler was in beating the Jaspers’ press.

“I know Kaz had the five turnovers but I loved his demeanor. We don’t win tonight if we don’t have his confidence in the full court,” Moore said. “You come at that guy in the open court, and he’s getting by you.”

Freshman Chaise Daniels contributed for the Bobcats with 11 points and three big blocks. Senior Evan Conti also added 12 points of his own off of the bench.

“Evan was great, you talk about a confident kid who never loses his will,” Moore said. “He’s had a tough stretch. He lost his starting spot, his minutes have been reduced, and I have him on a short leash, but he was ready in big spots.”

The Bobcats, now 11-8 on the season, square off with MAAC rivals Canisus (11-7) on Friday at the Koessler Athletic Center in Buffalo N.Y.

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Sam Anas has hit the ground running as an underclassman at Quinnipiac.

This year, the sophomore forward is building on the momentum that began during his award-winning freshman season, where he earned the Tim Taylor Rookie of the Year award.

Following his freshman year, in which he led the team with 22 goals and 43 points, Anas has already recorded 10 goals and eight assists for a team-leading 18 points in the 2014-15 season.

Anas shared how he has been able to have such a smooth transition to the college game.

“I think the coaches have given me every opportunity I could have asked for, especially as a freshman,” Anas said. “I was able to play power-play [my freshman year], and play on a line with Connor and Kellen Jones. Now this year with [Matthew] Peca and Landon [Smith], I have just been surrounded with talented players.”

Additionally, Anas credits the two years he played amateur hockey for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League as a key in his transition.

“I loved playing junior hockey,” Anas said. “It is a good transition between playing youth hockey and making the jump to college. Had I gone from youth straight to college it would have been very tough, but instead I was able to play in the same place for two years with great coaches.”

During his two-year stint in Youngstown, Anas scored 54 goals and recorded 43 assists for 97 total points in 155 games. He finished third in the league in goals during the 2012-13 season.

Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle Sam Anas looks to move the puck vs UConn 11/17/15

Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle                   Sam Anas looks to move the puck vs UConn 11/17/15

In a conversation about his leading scorer, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold reflected on what a special player Anas is, and how much he adds to the team.

“He is a highly talented player, who has a unique ability to create time and space for himself, but his biggest strength is his finishing,” Pecknold said. “There are players who can score goals in practice when you have the time and space with little to no pressure, but few thrive like him in game mode.”

Senior captain Matthew Peca, who centers the first line with Anas and Smith, talked about what it’s like to play with the second-year wing.

“[Anas] expects to score every night and he produces, it’s very fun to have him on your line,” Peca said. “You can always expect him to be open. He talks really well, you will always know where he is on the ice, and when he has the puck he makes plays.”

Peca added that Anas isn’t only a great scorer, but a great passer, too.

“He’ll pass through defenders sticks on feeds and you always have to expect the puck,” Peca said. “He is great with the puck; there are other players who won’t even try the things he can do.”

Peca said Anas is a leader off the ice, as well.

“He does a good job keeping the locker room loose, with little sayings and stuff, and he is just a great teammate,” Peca said. “I roomed with him on the road last year, and he is real easy going and a great team player.”

Anas first began playing hockey with his dad, Peter, early on in life. Peter played at the University of Western Ontario, and introduced the game to Anas at a very young age.

“[My dad] got me started when I was two years old shooting the ball around in the kitchen,” Anas said.

Nineteen years later, Anas’ talent is drawing NHL attention. In the past few summers, he has participated in developmental camps with the Washington Capitals, and most recently with the Montreal Canadiens.

Training with the Canadiens last summer was an “eye-opening experience,” he said.

“To go there and see all of the history there, and all of the Stanley Cups they have won, it is such a prestigious organization,” Anas said. “It really motivates me to make that jump to the NHL one day.”

Anas said that he doesn’t model his game after one specific player, but that he does enjoy watching Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise play because of his skill and hard-working attitude.

In addition, he idolizes New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis.

“He is a small guy who was undrafted out of college,” Anas said, “but has done everything people said he wouldn’t be able to do, and now he is going to be a Hall of Famer one day. He is a perfect role model for me.”

For Anas, he is looking to improve deficiencies in his game, while Quinnipiac as a whole has lofty goals set.

“As a player, I need to improve as a skater and I need to improve defensively,” Anas said. “As a team, we want to do everything. We want to win the ECAC regular season, the ECAC Tournament Championship, and hopefully the NCAA Championship, and just overall be the best team we can be.”

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Those in attendance at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday night for the Connecticut 6 Classic game between Quinnipiac and Yale got just what was advertized: a classic.

Lead by a career-high 35 points and 11 rebounds from senior captain Zaid Hearst and 13 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks from senior Ousmane Drame, the Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs 89-85 in double overtime at Lender Court.

“Actions speak louder than words, and I have named one captain in all seven of my years [at Quinnipiac],” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “He played 49 minutes of a 50-minute game and still looks like the freshest guy out there. I hold him up on a pedestal. We have never had a kid who wants to win as much as Zaid Hearst, ever.”

For Hearst, performing in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 at The Bank had a huge effect on the outcome of the game.

“It was a great feeling having the student body and all of the fans out and supporting us,” Hearst said. “It was a big reason why we won tonight.”

Quinnipiac trailed 40-38 at halftime, despite 17 points from Hearst. Yale was led by point guard Javier Duren in the first 20 minutes, as he scored 18 points while Justin Sears added 10.

Following the break, Drame lead the way for Quinnipiac defensively, blocking five shots in the second half alone. Hearst scored 12 second-half points, while holding Sears to just two second-half points on the other end.

The Bulldogs, though, wouldn’t go down without a fight. Drame hit a shot to tie the game with 23 seconds left, and then blocked a shot with six seconds left to send things into overtime.

“[Drame is] at 75 percent of what he will be in two to three weeks coming off the meniscus,” Moore said. “He just needs to shake off a little bit more rust and learn to trust it a little bit more, which for some athletes, can be the toughest thing.”

Hearst missed a shot at the end of regulation, which sent things into overtime.

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle                          Hearst drives towards the net with a defender in tow

During overtime, Moore elected to play senior Justin Harris.

“I had been sitting behind some of the best competition in Quinnipiac history in Ike Azotam and Ousmane Drame,” Harris said. “And after playing against that tough of competition day in and day out, when you finally get an opportunity it feels great to finally go out there and make a contribution.”

Harris played 20 important minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing two rebounds.

Moore spoke of how Harris impressed him, and how it could impact his plans in the future.

“He earned a ton of trust from the head coach going into Tuesday‘s game against La Salle,” Moore said. “It was a really big night for him, and he really needed it.”

Following the game, NBA’s all-time three point field goal leader Ray Allen paid the Bobcats a special visit.

Quinnipiac hosts La Salle at the TD Bank Sports Center on Tuesday.

Women’s ice hockey goaltender Chelsea Laden tops NCAA Division I with a .974 save percentage this season

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

After starting the season ranked No. 10 in the country, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team has now risen to No. 5 and continues to build momentum.

While many factors have contributed to the Bobcats’ 7-0-1 start, few can argue the play of senior goalie Chelsea Laden, as well as the team’s defense, have been a driving force to its success this year.

Laden, the ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month in October, has been reliable in net for the Bobcats all season. Laden has gone 7-0-0 in seven starts, posting an 0.29 goals against average.

Laden tops all of Division I women’s ice hockey goalies with a .974 percent save percentage on the season. She is also leading the nation with five shutouts, which is the fourth most shutouts in a season by any goalie in Quinnipiac program history.

The Bobcats currently own a nation-leading 0.38 goals against average, which Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley credits to Laden’s dependability in net all season.

“Chelsea had a great year last year, but when she wasn’t on, and she gave up a poor goal, she would get in her own head and usually let up another soon after,” Seeley said. “This year, she has overcome that, and has yet to allow a bad goal all year.”

Laden also notes the growth in confidence that both she and her team have undergone since last season.

“I feel like our team is a lot more confident this year,” Laden said. “We are making the right plays at the right time, and we are more focused into the little details of the game. Our team is also buying into the system more, and since we’ve been winning all it has done is add to our confidence.”

Laden and the Bobcats are coming off a record-setting game, recording the first shutout win in program history at Cornell, which was also the first time Cornell had been shut out at home since Nov. 17, 2006.

“I actually had no idea about that statistic until I saw it posted after the game,” Laden said. “I think it shows how far we have come as a team to be able to go and shut out a program like Cornell, who has been ranked for as long as I can remember. Little accomplishments like this just continue to add to our confidence.”

Despite the individual statistics and acclaim that has been coming her way, Laden remains humble, crediting those in front of her for such success.

“People are talking about the stats recently, which I don’t think is indicative of anything spectacular that I am doing or of how I am playing,” Laden said. “I think it is more of a result of how amazing and consistent our team has been playing, and I feel so blessed to be the goalie for such a dominant and disciplined team.”

Moving forward, Laden hopes to remain a consistent force in net for the Bobcats.

“I want to stop all of the easy shots, most of the hard shots and some of the impossible shots I face,” Laden said. “Whether I am facing 14 shots or, maybe someday I’ll get 30 shots, I want to be able to be consistent so I can give back to the team seeing as they have given so much to me.”

And for Seeley, Laden’s consistency has been key in the evolution of her game.

“She is doing a great job learning from her mistakes and maturing, and becoming the goalie we now see.”

And on a grander scale, Laden also offered up insight into the team’s goals for the rest of the season. The Bobcats would like to win the ECAC, Laden says, and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

“Reaching the national tournament is something that has always been a goal for us, and this year we have become a step closer to reaching that goal,” Laden said. “Last year we had the talent, we only had six losses, but we also had a lot of ties, and we learned that amping up our game that much more can boost us into the national tournament, even though it will take a lot of hard work and consistency to get us there.”

Laden and the Bobcats look to continue their winning streak as they hosts Rensselaer at High Point Solutions Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.

By Jordan Novack, Contributing Writer                 Link to Original

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame held a ceremony to induct the Class of 2014 on Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center, honoring six individual athletes and two tennis teams.

The newest members were enshrined in front of a gala of friends, family and peers.

The first inductee of the night was former men’s basketball bigman Bill Romano. Romano was a four-year starter during his time at Quinnipiac and rewrote the record books on the court. Upon his graduation, he was Quinnipiac’s all-time program leader in points, rebounding and points per game.

During his speech, Romano reflected on the growth of Quinnipiac athletics and the basketball program since his time on campus.

“My freshman year, in 1998, the locker room was so small we could barely fit an entire team in there,” Romano said. “I remember looking around and saying to myself, ‘wow this is similar to a middle school or high school locker room.’ Now look at this palace in which we play in today.”

Jared Grasso, Romano’s teammate and “best friend,” was the next to be inducted into the Quinnipiac Hall of Fame.

Grasso was a four-year member of the basketball team, who, upon his graduation, was the second player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 400 assists.

Grasso talked about his best memory at Quinnipiac, the NEC Championship game against Central Connecticut.
“[It was] the best basketball atmosphere I have been a part of in my entire life,” Grasso said. “I really felt proud to know how much work we put in when everyone said we weren’t any good, or we weren’t going to win any games. We were only two bounces away from being in the NCAA tournament in that last year.”

Former women’s basketball player Ashlee Kelly was inducted after Grasso. Kelly currently serves as an associate head coach for the Iona College women’s basketball squad, while Grasso is an associate head coach for the men’s basketball team.

While on campus, Kelly was one of the most decorated players in the history of program. She was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year in 2002-03, becoming women’s basketball’s first student-athlete to win the honor. Kelly averaged 13.5 rebounds per game during that season, leading all of Division I basketball.

Kelly’s most glowing support came from Senior Associate Athletic Director Bill Mecca, who hosted the ceremony.

“I’ve never seen someone compete at a level that high day in and day out,” Meca said. “She is arguably the best women’s basketball player to ever wear a Quinnipiac jersey.”

The fourth inductee came in the form of Stephanie Petrycki. A four year member of the tennis team, Petrycki is currently Quinnipiac’s all-time leader in career wins (165), career singles victories (84) and career doubles victories (81). She was named the “Most Valuable Performer” of the tennis team in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Petrycki spoke of how her time at Quinnipiac changed how she perceived tennis as a team sport.

“You grow up going to tennis tournaments, you always did it as an individual,” Petrycki said. “You meet people, and you make friends and stuff, but you are really by yourself. But coming here, you become part of a real team… It was probably one of my favorite parts of being [at Quinnipiac].”

The final individual inductee of the night was the voice of Quinnipiac, Bill Schweizer. Schweizer is a broadcast veteran of 44 years, and has worked on seven Olympic broadcasts and handled play-by-play for both the National Football League and Major League Baseball during his career. He is entering in his 20th year at Quinnipiac, serving as the play-by-play announcer for the Bobcats’ ice hockey and basketball teams.

In a conversation following the ceremony, Schweizer described the two fondest memories he’s had during his time at Quinnipiac.

“[Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey] went on the road to Cornell for a three-game series, and Cornell never loses at home,” Schweizer said, talking about the 2006-2007 season. “Quinnipiac swept them in two games, and both games the atmosphere was unbelievable. Two of my favorite games of all time were those games.”

And he has a special memory for basketball, too.

“[The 2002 Men’s Basketball Team] came out of nowhere and got to the NEC championship game against Central, only being four years into Division 1, playing on ESPN,” Schweizer said. “The atmosphere that night in the gym at Central was unbelievable. It was sold out and the whole house just shook.”

The first team to be inducted was the 1996-97 women’s tennis team. The team went 16-2 overall, and went undefeated in NE-10 play (10-0), winning the regular season and NE-10 tournament championship title. They were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II tournament that year.

The final inductee of the night was the 1996-97 men’s tennis team. The team went 18-1 and was undefeated in NE-10 matches (9-0). The team won two consecutive Northeast-10 regular season and tournament titles to close out the team’s Division II history.

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1971, and currently has 133 players and 10 teams

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.”