Tuesday, September 20, 2005

SAMUELSON NAMED NESCAC SOCCER PLAYER OF THE WEEK

MEDFORD Record-tying tri-captain Ariel Samuelson (Newton, MA/Newton North) of the Tufts University Women's Soccer team was named New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week on Monday.

Samuelson tied a Tufts record by scoring all three goals in the team's 3-0 victory against #15 in the nation Middlebury College at home on Kraft Field Saturday. She is the seventh player in Tufts history to score a hat trick in a game, and the first to do it since Lynn Cooper in 1999.

The win over Middlebury was the second straight against a nationally ranked team by the Jumbos. They posted a 3-2 win over #13 Wheaton on Wednesday. Wheaton and Middlebury were the top two teams in the New England Division III poll last week, respectively. Samuelson had an assist in the Wheaton game for a seven-point week (3 goals, 1 assist).

Fellow senior tri-captain Sarah Callaghan (Northborough, MA/Algonquin) assisted on all three of Samuelson's goals to also tie a Tufts record. On the first goal in the 33rd minute, she served the ball from 25 yards out to Samuelson. With her back to the goal, she spun and beat two defenders to slot the ball into the net near the post. The game remained 1-0 until Callaghan sent Samuelson in alone on a break-away for a goal with 14:10 remaining in the second half. With less than two minutes remaining, Callaghan sent a long ball over the top to Samuelson for another break-away. Her shot ricocheted off the goalie back to her and she dribbled it in for the hat trick.

An outside back during her freshman and sophomore seasons at Tufts, Samuelson has been the team's top scorer since Coach Martha Whiting moved her to striker for her junior season. She led the Jumbos with four goals last fall.

"She's really fast and very competitive," Whiting said. "She finds a way to put the ball in the net. She played well on defense for us, but we had to find a way to better use her scoring ability."

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