Nov. 12, 2010

Courtesy of Bridgeport Athletics

Albany, N.Y.-
Senior forward Linda Velaj (Stamford, Conn.) scored a hat trick, and junior goalkeeper Julie Colley (Harlow, England) made six save to help the University of Bridgeport women's soccer advance to the Second Round of the 2010 NCAA Division II Championship Tournament with a 3-1 victory over the Franklin Pierce University Ravens on Friday afternoon.

Velaj, who now has a team-high 20 goals on the season, got the Purple Knights on the board first in the match with an unassisted goal at the 17:15 mark.

Franklin Pierce would tie things just over six minutes later when Amanda Panaro scored her 20th off an assist from Kelly Weygand.

With score tied 1-1 at the half, Velaj would net what proved to the game-winning goal just 30 second into the second half off an assist from sophomore Gabby Trombley (Lyndenborough, N.H.), who played a long through ball past the middle of the Franklin Pierce defense.

Linda's third goal came at the 72:03 mark off a free kick restart from junior Marie Pettersson (Amal, Sweden) and a flick pass from sophomore Becky Wallis (Rockville Center, N.Y.).

Stated UB head coach Magnus Nilerud, "It was a superb team effort today. I'm so happy for a seniors who get a chance to keep playing especially after the disappoint we suffered in our conference tournament. Linda was outstanding today, and Julia Colley made a pair of great stops when we were up 2-1 that really saved the day."

With the win, Bridgeport is now 14-3-2. Franklin Pierce ends its season at 14-6-1.

UB now moves onto Second Round NCAA play on Sunday where they will face the nation's number one ranked team and regional host the College of St. Rose Golden Knights, who enter Sunday with a 21-0-0 record.