I thought I had a successful career at Quinnipiac I finished with 93 points and 39 goals. I still wish I had the opportunity to win a NEC trophy and to make it to the big dance (NCAA’s) but I guess that wasn’t planned in my destiny. However, one dream of mine that I used to envision as a kid and that I dreamt about was to play at the national team level and this dream came true when the Albanian national team coach invited me to camp this November. As soon as my senior season concluded with 2-nil victory over Bryant, I was on a plane heading to Tirana, the capital of Albania. I was so excited yet so nervous on my immediate arrival. I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first time ever playing at international level. However, all my worries and doubts were cast aside as we arrived at summer resort town of Pogradec where we stayed and trained. The small town was very picturesque and our hotel was located on the lake separating us from neighboring Macedonia whom we were preparing to play against in a FIFA international match. My first experience with the national team was amazing, I learned so much from my coaches and I made some amazing new friends. This opportunity gave me the ability to connect with other Albanian girls who play the same sport that I love and it also reconnected me with my love for my culture and nationality. I was so proud to wear the red and black colors and to represent Albania. Hearing the Albanian national anthem rather than the American star spangle banner, which I’ve been hearing for the past thirteen years in the USA was really nice. Playing for the national team also reminded how much more soccer is loved by the rest of the world because I feel like here in the USA it’s treated like a second tier sport, it was nice to be in an environment where soccer is god.
Finally, the best part of the trip was beating Macedonia 4-1 and scoring the second goal in the second half to take the lead 2-0. We played a 4-1-3-2 formation and I was the attacking center mid behind our two forwards. I love this formation and position because it allowed me to play freely with hopes of attacking football. For once I was so happy not to be playing forward and having to always deal with four defenders on my back, everything was in front of me and this gave me the freedom to control the tempo of the game and the creation of the attack. I enjoyed this new responsibility that I was given to handle because I felt more involved in the game and in control. In conclusion my trip to Albania and Macedonia was really memorable and I hope that I can continue to play for them in the near future. Everyone be in the lookout for an international friendly in March against our next-door neighbors Greece, who are ranked 57th in the world by FIFA.
Now that my college season is over what is next? What now? This is a really good question because I’m trying to figure this out as well. I want to become a professional player and I am hopeful that I can continue to play in the USA in the WPS, which I think is the best league. I think I’m ready for the next level…actually I know I’m ready honestly. I’ve been waiting to turn pro since I was a little kid and I can’t wait to make this dream come true. I hope there is a WPS combine in the winter so that I can showcase my talent and what I can bring to the professional teams in WPS. I believe that I have great vision which is why I would make an amazing center mid, I’m deceptively fast, I’m really strong in 1v1 situations and dribbling at defenders (which makes me a good winger).
I also think that I have this amazing ability to score spectacular goals, Dave always says to me “Furtuna you’re not a goal scorer, you’re a scorer of great goals.” Now this pisses me off every time he says this because I love scoring goals and I want to prove him wrong in the next level that I can put away and score the simple goals as well. Lastly, as a player I have this ability to win games. I perform really well under pressure and intense situations. I love lifting my team up when we are down or when it looks like a game is over. I love taking control of games and taking the responsibility of taking a pk, a free kick, or to score the game-winning goal. It’s because of these abilities that Dave compares me to a maverick, which is a perfect comparison for me. But who knows I might end up in Europe playing pro in Germany, Sweden, or England as I look to continue developing as a player. Now that college is over I want to take my game to new heights and to challenge myself to become a better player and to make soccer my career and if soccer does not happen for me then I’m off to Law school my other dream.
THANK YOU, I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog and learning about me and the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team. CONGRATULATIONS to my other fellow college blog writers, Matt Danaher and Fairfield U in winning their conference and K-weezy in a great four years at Georgetown.
I can’t believe it's November already and my senior soccer season is over. So much has happened since the last time I wrote and I’m sorry to my readers for being MIA for so long.
Looking back at the beginning of this blog and the expectations and goals that I had for myself and the team it’s sad to say that we fell really short of those objectives. We fell so short that we ended up having a horrible losing season and did not make the NEC tournament like we did in the previous two years. As disappointing as this season was I am not too upset about it because at times we as a team showed how well we could play and thus why coach Clarke had such high expectations for us. I believe the downfall of our season was that we were not consistent enough as a team and as individuals. Dave always prepared us properly and broke down every team that we were going to play, he always told us what we needed to do, but at the end of the day it’s the players who walk on that field, not the coach, who have to perform, do their job and play for the team. I hope that the juniors, sophomores, freshman and the incoming new recruits learn from this season’s short coming. But I know Dave and he already has an idea in his head and how he’s going to approach next season and so I wish him and the girls the best of luck, I know for sure they will be a really strong team to play against since I already have an idea of the type of formation they are going to play and what Dave wants the girls to execute next season.
I’m going to miss being part of this team and program so much. It’s because of Coach Clarke that I can sit here and write that I’m a more mature individual and that I’ve become a multidimensional soccer player. It’s at Quinnipiac that I’ve learned how to be more of team player and how to be a good teammate. Sadly I hate to say this but I do feel that underachieved at Quinnipiac, but I’m very happy to have been part of this program in helping QU reach the NEC semi’s twice. When I look back on my last four seasons, I see so many happy memories (Niagara falls, freshman freestyle, team manicures, road trips, practice banter, scavenger hunts, dirt naps, GB’s) some amazing goals (My goal against Mount St. Mary in double overtime with one second left is by far my favorite, my hat-trick freshman year against Robert Morris where I scored two goals to tie the game with 10 min. left and then scoring the golden goal in overtime, my five goals against NJIT, beating Monmouth after 10 years in their home field this year, scoring a hat-trick against Dartmouth, beating and scoring two goals against LIU 3-0 at home after they beat us my previous year as a freshman ) and great friendships. I love my teammates, my coaches Dave and Steve and the Quinnipiac Athletic staff. They have shown me so much support and have helped me to be the happy individual that I am on and off the soccer pitch.