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Friday, December 1, 2006

NSCAA ALL-REGION SOCCER TEAMS TAB FURTEK, BENEDICT

MEDFORD -- Named to the 2006 All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams together earlier this fall, Tufts University women's soccer teammates Martha Furtek (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth) and Annie Benedict (Millburn, NJ/Millburn) share another honor now that the National Soccer Coaches Association of American has announced its Division III All-New England teams.

Furtek, a junior midfielder, is on the First Team, and Benedict, a junior defender, is on the Second Team. Three teams were named in all. Likewise, Furtek was First Team All-NESCAC and Benedict was Second Team All-Conference. Furtek also carned D3Kicks.com All-Region honors recently.

Head coach Martha Whiting's Jumbos finished the regular season second in NESCAC with a 6-1-2 record, losing only to Middlebury College. Tufts was 9-4-1 overall, winning nine of their last 11 games after an 0-2-2 start. The Jumbos' season was upended in the first round of the conference tournament when they lost to Bates, 2-1, in overtime.

Furtek was an NSCAA All-New England Second Team pick last season. She received All-NESCAC honors for the third straight season, earning a Second Team selection in 2004 as a freshman and a First Team nod last year. With three goals and six assists for 12 points this fall, she led Tufts in assists and is third in the conference with a 0.40 per game average. The heart of the team at midfield, she's an outstanding athlete who never comes off the field. She led the Jumbos by a wide margin with 56 shots.

A first time NSCAA All-Region pick, Benedict, the center-back, was the team's most consistent defender this fall. A great one-on-one defender, she helped the team allow only 18 goals in 1,387 minutes for a 1.17 goals against average that ranked the team fifth in NESCAC this year. The squad also recorded six shutouts, including four against NESCAC teams. The Jumbos earned a 0.98 goals against mark in nine conference contests. Ironically, Annie's older sister Catherine was an NSCAA All-New England Third Teamer in 2004.

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