Samuel excited for year two

Published 9:53 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ariana Samuel is hoping to contribute more in her second season for the CNU field hockey team.

The Christopher Newport University field hockey team had a successful season last year. They were the Capital Athletic Conference Champions in Samuel’s first year on the team. Not only were they conference champions but also they advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16. They went 17-2 as a team, and Samuel was able to learn a lot and achieve early success as a freshman.

Samuel experienced some good things as well as some different things in her first collegiate season. She appeared in 10 games and was one of three freshmen that started the first game of the season.

Ariana Samuel appeared in 10 games as a freshman and is looking forward to her sophomore season with Lady Captains field hockey. (Christopher Newport University photo)

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“It was a good learning experience,” she said. “It was definitely different from high school. It was tricky balancing everything at first, but we won the CAC and went to the NCAA Sweet 16.”

For many new college athletes, the adjustment to the college speed of the game is the hardest thing. There were new techniques and tactics Samuel had to get used to. However, having felt comfortable about her adjustment, she was excited to continue playing at a high level.

The former Nansemond River standout also suffered her first concussion — the first major injury of her career — last season. However, being close to home made the healing process easier for her.

Starting the first game caused a bit of nerves, Samuel admitted. The nerves got better as the season went on. Even though Samuel appeared in numerous games, she didn’t maintain a starting position, but she is hoping for a different outcome this season. She will have a different mindset.

“I am going to work hard to make sure I earn more playing time,” she said. “Just try not to overthink things too much and relax, but also maintain a competitive attitude.”

With her sophomore season getting under way in a few weeks, she hopes CNU can repeat as conference champions. For the NRHS field hockey team, she was an All-Conference selection each year. Samuel also contributed to a girls’ tennis team that made multiple state tournament appearances.