Northern Burlington graduate Rachel Quigley leads Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer to Division III Final Four – Trentonian

Excitement, enthusiasm, energy, cheerfulness and excellence.

These five words explain the passion, determination and heart that Rachel Quigley brings to every soccer practice and game.

Quigley, a junior goaltender, is having a fantastic season and will come in for Virginia Wesleyan (18-2-4) this weekend when she meets Case Western Reserve (19-0-1) in the Division III Final Four Salem, Virginia at 4 p.m. on Friday.

In the other semifinal, scheduled for 1 p.m., Messiah (20-1-3) takes on Johns Hopkins (21-0-2).

“This is so exciting and I couldn’t ask for more and to do it with this team is amazing,” Quigley said. “I couldn’t ask for better teammates to experience this with and a better coaching staff.”

Quigley, who played her high school football in Northern Burlington, has allowed just 10 goals in 23 starts with 112 saves, 10 shutouts and an impressive .45 goals against average.

Virginia Wesleyan and Quigley have earned a lot of respect by going unbeaten in their last 11 games.

“I love being on the field and playing against tough teams,” Quigley said. “I know every time that we will always put everything we have on the pitch, our heart and everything, and that resonates not only with me but with the whole team.”

The Marlins defeated Puget Sound (3-0), No. 23 Rowan (1-0), No. 13 Wisconsin-LaCrosse (2-1) and No. 3 Christopher Newport (4-3 on PKs) to advance to the Finals to reach four.

Christopher Newport (19-0-2) came on as the defending Division III champion and that game went down to penalties.

“My first thought is there’s nobody I want on this web,” Quigley said of kicks. “I go in with confidence that I will save that for my team. I know that every single person on our team will make it when their turn comes and I know that they have faith in me that I will do everything in my power to save them.”

Quigley had 12 saves in the game and two amazingly defining saves in the shootout.

Quigley isn’t the tallest goalkeeper in the world at 5’11” and makes up for it with fighting determination and a pure heart.

“I feel like my height doesn’t affect the way I play when I’m out on the field,” Quigley said. “I have a good size in my heart and in my head and I will do anything to save the ball.”

She has proven her brave heart many times this season with her game, her leadership and just being the ultimate team player.

“I’m fortunate to have a team that has the same goal as me,” said Quigley. “We know this is another opportunity to improve. We have heart and we want to win. I have the best team around me, I don’t want anyone other than the team I have around me.”

There is also plenty of family support around Quigley from her father David and mother Tracy and brother Kyle who was a record-breaking goalkeeper at William Paterson.

“My brother is a big role model for me,” said his little sister. “I grew up watching him play. Even though I was younger it motivated me because I wanted to be either as good as him or better and we still compare ourselves to each other. He helped develop my love for the game. I dedicate every game to my brother because I wouldn’t be where I am without him, he’s a huge role model.”

Her family and certainly her brother will be rooting for Virginia Wesleyan and Rachel.

“It’s an experience that every collegiate athlete wants to have,” Quigley said. “To make that run in the tournament, we dance and it’s special.”

Quigley is a special player, a special person. She brings excitement, enthusiasm, exhilaration and excellence to the field and could perhaps bring back a national championship.

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