Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2005


MEDFORD The Tufts University women's soccer team held off New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Trinity College, 3-2, on Saturday (Oct. 15) to earn their record-setting ninth straight victory.  The mark of nine straight wins surpasses the 1979 Jumbos' mark of eight consecutive victories.  The win came on Tufts' Homecoming Day/Parents' Weekend.

Tufts has amassed many impressive victories during the streak, including four against nationally ranked opponents.  The Jumbos defeated then #13 Wheaton College 3-2 on September 14, along with then #15 Middlebury College on September 17 by a 3-0 margin.  They earned tough victories over NESCAC rivals Bates (then # 23) and Bowdoin (then #20) on October 1 and 8, respectively.  Proving that they can win in any situation, the Jumbos edged Bates by a 2-1 margin in double overtime, and defeated Bowdoin 3-0 in the pouring rain.  Tufts has held the top New England ranking for a few weeks and has risen to the #6 ranking in the nation.

Senior tri-captains Ariel Samuelson (Newton, MA/Newton North) and Sarah Callaghan (Northborough, MA/Algonquin) have been key in the Jumbos' offensive productivity thus far. Following Tuesday's 2-0 victory against Keene State that extended the winning streak to 10, Samuelson has 11 goals and three assists to lead the team with 25 points, the most by a Jumbo since the 2000 season. Callaghan has two goals and six assists for 10 points. The duo tied Tufts records for goals and assists in a game, respectively, with three each in the Middlebury match.

Other key contributors on offense are sophomore Martha Furtek (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth), senior tri-captain Lindsay Garmirian (Amherst, MA/Amherst), sophomore Lauren Fedore (East Lansing, MI/East Lansing) and senior Lydia Claudio (Woburn, MA/Open Bible Academy).

Supporting the strong offense is a defensive corps that has improved with each match.  Anchored by junior goalkeeper Annie Ross (Newton, MA/Newton South), the Jumbos have allowed nine goals in 11 games. Back-line starters Annie Benedict (Millburn, NJ/Millburn), Jessie Wagner (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury), Joelle Emery (Bedford, NH/Derryfield School) and Jen Fratto (Waltham, MA/Waltham) support Ross, who boasts a 0.81 goals-against average.

The Jumbos are coached by Martha Whiting, a 1993 Tufts graduate in her seventh season.  The team will look to extend their current winning streak while also holding on to first place in NESCAC when they travel to play at Williams College on Saturday.