BRISTOL - Former Bristol Eastern girls soccer standout and Roger Williams senior midfielder, Samantha Woznicki was named to the NCAA Division-III Women’s All-New England Region Second Team for the Hawks in her final collegiate season.
Woznicki helped lead Roger Williams to a 14-8-2 record while winning the Commonwealth Coast Conference championship and earning a bid to the NCAA tournament.
“It’s a huge recognition,” Woznicki said. “I wasn’t expecting it. It has a lot to do with the push from my teammates and my coaches. I obviously would not have had as successful of a career if it weren’t for them.
“Also, especially the support from my family. I couldn’t have done it without any of them. I give it my all and work my hardest so it’s nice to be recognized for that.”
Woznicki finished the year with 23 points on the offensive end of the field, including eight goals and seven assists.
“It was really awesome to see her get recognized for that,” Roger Williams teammate Natalie O’Donovan said. “She’s worked so hard. It’s just good that she got the recognition she deserves.”
She was also a key part in a defensive backfield that allowed just 1.06 goals per contest, which was the second-best mark in the CCC. That same backfield also registered 11 shutouts over the course of the season.
With her defensive performance Woznicki was also recognized as the CCC Defensive Player of the Year.
“She’s always been a key player on the team,” O’Donovan said. “Even though she came in sophomore year, she’s really helped us a lot. She was a key player offensively and defensively. She’s always worked hard to help with the program and build success.”
While her success was stellar for three seasons, Woznicki didn’t play her freshman year, taking a year off after her career with the Lancers.
In her first season back on the soccer field Woznicki was named rookie of the year in the conference.
“I was really excited to see her go back to playing soccer after freshman year,” former Bristol Eastern teammate Nicole Pelletier said. “I knew it was something she loved to do and I think it took a lot of courage and initiative on her part. It’s been really fun to support her on the field in high school and off the field in college.”
Her effort in the classroom has been equally impressive as she’s working to become a teacher as she studies elementary education.
“From high school to now it’s been good to see her grow up,” Pelletier said. “Not just as an athlete, but also a student and she’s really passionate about becoming a teacher one day.
Soccer has been a big part of the Woznicki family. Her dad, Dave, was her Samantha’s first coach growing up.
“Sports in general and soccer is something that we have always connected through,” Woznicki said. “And it’s just special to have your dad as your first coach. Especially with how big of a role soccer has played in my life and just to know that it goes back to that is pretty cool.”
Woznicki was All-Conference twice at Bristol Eastern, in her junior and senior seasons.
Now, the Lancers boys soccer program have a Woznicki leading the way with her brother Jake as a premier player for Bristol Eastern. As a sophomore for the Lancers, Jake has already received All-Conference honors in his first two seasons.
Samantha and her two older sisters, Sarah and Amanda, made sure that Jake got into the sport of soccer at a young age.
“As a family we’re extremely competitive,” Woznicki said. “Since we are older than Jake, we had him playing soccer when he was just a baby and couldn’t even walk. Between Jake and I, there’s some competition and we definitely have a relationship based off of soccer. Whenever we get the chance to play soccer we’re playing and I think we push each other pretty hard. We’ve played so much together that it is something that we can bond through.”
With her career now over, Woznicki’s success in the sport has molded her into the person she is today.
“Playing at Roger Williams was and is a great experience,” Woznicki said. “I really took my playing to the next level. Playing with girls who are just as competitive as I am and wanted to win was a really great experience. The girls on the team are some of my best friends even though I didn’t play in my freshman year. In my three years I really developed as a student athlete. Just being part of the team gave me a little more reason to succeed at Roger Williams and find my place there. It’s been a great ride now that it’s over.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan