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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Women's Soccer | Samuelson honored with First Team All-American selection

Senior tri-captain Ariel Samuelson was honored with the biggest individual accolade of her athletic career Thursday night, and she was the last person to find out.

The Newton, Mass., native capped off Tufts' storybook fall season by being named a First Team All-American, making her the second player in Tufts history to be given the honor.

"It took me forever to find it because the NCAA has so many Web sites, but it's really exciting and I'm truly honored to receive such an award," Samuelson said.

Samuelson led the Jumbos to the program's second berth in the NCAA Final Four, where they fell to The College of New Jersey 3-0 in the national semifinals. The squad finished the year with a 15-4-2 record, winning the New England Region and the Northeast Section of the Div. III NCAA Tournament.

The senior led the Jumbos and the NESCAC in scoring this year, notching 14 goals and dishing out four assists for a total of 32 points. She was the first women's soccer player from the school to be named NESCAC Player of the Year.

"It's amazing for a team to have someone who is going to put the ball in the back of the net for you on a consistent basis," classmate and fellow tri-captain Sarah Callaghan said. "It makes a difference, and that's why she was recognized. She's competitive, motivated, and someone I love being around."

Samuelson was behind Tufts' school-record ten-game winning streak, during which it defeated regional powerhouses Wheaton, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Amherst and Bates. Her three goals against Middlebury tied a Tufts record for most goals and points by a Jumbo in a single game. Her 14 goals and 32 points both were the second highest single-season totals by a Jumbo in its history.

"It's a really nice way to end my career," Samuelson said. "And I thank my team because I would have never received such an honor if we weren't all so good."

The Jumbos were all over the All-New England Teams.

Samuelson was the lone Jumbo on the first team, while classmate Lydia Claudio and sophomore Martha Furtek appeared on the second team and sophomore Joelle Emery was named to the third team.

"After such a great season, it's really nice to have people be recognized," Callaghan said. "Everyone worked hard all fall and deserved this."

Furtek and Claudio anchored the midfield, with Furtek playing offensive center mid and Claudio playing defensive center mid. The two complemented each other all season, working together to transition the ball from the Tufts zone onto the offensive side of the field, while also tallying a combined eight goals and seven assists.

Emery helped anchor a Tufts defense that was the best in New England. The sophomore, along with classmates Jess Wagner and Annie Benedict, and junior Jen Fratto, made up a back four that allowed just seven goals in conference play.

"All of us being named to the New England teams represents the hard work and success of the season," Emery said. "The fact that it wasn't just one person really affirms that we were never just about individual players. It was a team effort, and no one could have been rewarded without the help of everyone else."