Thursday, December 8, 2005

She and three others named to NSCAA All-New England teams

MEDFORD Senior forward Ariel Samuelson (Newton, MA/Newton North) of the Tufts University women's soccer team was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Division III All-America First Team. She is just the second Jumbo to earn the honor, following Sara Yeatman in 2000.

Samuelson produced the second-best offensive season in the 27-year history of Tufts women's soccer. She scored 14 goals with four assists for 32 points, second only to Lisa Raffin's 15 goals and 41 points in 1981. Her 32 points led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Eight of her goals and two assists (20 points) came in nine conference games. She was the first from Tufts to be named NESCAC Player of the Year in women's soccer. She is the only New England player on the All-America First Team.

Four of her goals were game-winners, including three in NESCAC games and one in the NCAA Sections against Wheaton College. On September 17 against Middlebury College, she scored three goals to tie a Tufts record for goals in a game. She scored multiple goals in four games total.

In addition to announcing the All-American teams, the NSCAA All-New England teams were also released. Samuelson was named to the First Team, senior Lydia Claudio (Woburn, MA/Open Bible Academy) and sophomore Martha Furtek (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth) were selected to the Second Team at midfield, and sophomore defender Joelle Emery (Bedford, NH/Derryfield School) was voted on to the Third Team.

Claudio scored five goals with three assists for 13 points in 18 games and Furtek had three goals with four assists for 10 points in 21 games. Together they helped compose the best midfield in New England. Claudio, who earned an All-NESCAC Second Team nod, scored three goals on penalty kicks and was a strong defensive presence, winning balls and supporting the back line. Furtek, an All-NESCAC First Team pick, was more of an offensive presence at midfield and was second on the team with 52 shots.

Emery, also an All-NESCAC Second Team selection, was a major reason that the Jumbos allowed only 19 goals in 21 games with nine shutouts this fall. Just seven of those goals were allowed during conference games. Her consistent play on defense was combined with an ability to move up on offense. She scored a goal with an assist for the Jumbos.

Tufts advanced all the way to the NCAA "final four," where they lost to The College of New Jersey in the semi-finals. Head coach Martha Whiting's team finished with a 15-4-2 record and won the NCAA New England and Section titles. During the regular-season, Tufts put together a nine-game winning streak and a 10-game unbeaten string that were team records.