Freshman Jess Lavoie of Berlin was honored as the Young Player of the Year at the Quinnipiac men’s and women’s soccer program’s annual banquet on Friday, April 27.
"It was another great event that demonstrated all that is good about Quinnipiac Soccer and I mean that in terms of the men's and women's programs combined,” said Quinnipiac Women’s Soccer Head Coach Dave Clarke.
Lavoie made 15 starts, the most of any QU freshman during 2011. Lavoie controlled the Bobcats’ midfield in her rookie campaign, earning the Young Player of the Year award. She was also named to the All-NEC Rookie team for her accomplishments.
“Jess had an outstanding first year as a player with Quinnipiac,” said Clarke. “She was a very consistent player in the center of midfield and despite her inexperience, she played well in every game. She is a 90 minute player and a key member of the team and will be for the next three seasons.
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Lavoie didn't know about the award until she saw it in the program that night.
"When I saw the name of the award I had a feeling it was me because I was the only freshman to play in all the games," she said. "I was really happy to get the award. It gives me even more incentive to do well going into next season."
While the Bobcats had a disappointing season, Lavoie thinks the team may be ready for a run at the top of the Northeast Conference.
"It was as hard as I expected it to be and our record wasn't the best but it had a lot to do with the conflict with our seniors," she said. "We were a very individualistic team. This upcoming season, I think we will do well because everyone is on board and we've been working really hard."
Lavoie said all parts of the change from high school to college, including physical, mental and social, were difficult.
"The physical part was the hardest part and it is definitely a change from high school to college," she said. "I felt I could do a good job with it because I was prepared from my work through Future Fitness. I had played on Elite teams and ODP but these girls are really physical."
Lavoie, who is a business major but may change to entrepreneurship, said being away from school was also difficult.
"The travel was very hard," she said. "We would be gone four or five days in a row sometimes. We would take an eight-hour bus ride and only have two hours to get ready to play. We had to stay in touch with our professors and people in our classes so we didn't fall behind. It was tough."