The 2009 season marks Samantha Clark's third year on the Lady Techster coaching staff after she played for head coach Kevin Sherry at both Western Illinois and Graceland University.
Her duties include instructing the goalkeepers and serving as the strength and conditioning coach. She also handles the team's budget and its travel arrangements.
"Coach Clark is an extremely hard worker," Sherry said. "She compliments our staff by bringing goalkeeping experience and knowledge to our team. She also relates very well to our student-athletes since she played soccer for me at the college level. I respect the loyalty she has given me over the years and that is a quality we stress with our team."
In just her second year at Louisiana Tech, Clark saw her hard work with the goalkeepers pay its dividends. True freshmen Cat Buchanan and Jean Bernard along with junior Tara Gavlak combined for a 10-5-5 record, an impressive 10 shutouts and a miniscule 0.84 goals against average. Buchanan concluded her first year setting the school's single-season shutouts record with five. She and Bernard finished the season with a 0.92 and a 0.93 goals against average, respectively, and Gavlak posted a perfect 0.00 mark.
As a student-athlete, Clark set multiple school, conference and national records as a goalie for Sherry.
At Western Illinois, she set single-season and career records for goals against average at 1.07 and established a single-season wins mark at 11. The Mid-Continent Conference named her Defensive Player of the Week her senior year.
In 2004, she received NAIA All-America Honorable Mention after helping Graceland reach the NAIA Final Four. She also received NAIA Women's Soccer National Player of the Week honors and multiple all-conference and all-region awards. As a result of her play in '04, she currently ranks second in NAIA women's soccer history in goals allowed in a season with four and fourth in goals against average at 0.27.
Along with Sherry, Clark was selected to be a U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development coach in November 2008. She will serve as a goalkeeper coach and instruct boys and girls at all age levels. While she was in Illinois, she coached in the Olympic Developmental League Region II for two years. Along with her coaching duties, she was in charge of finding goalkeepers to represent the U-16 national team.
The native of Kansas City, Mo. began her collegiate career as the No. 4 goalkeeper at Graceland, but her work ethic enabled her to improve and move up to starter quickly.
Clark earned her National Goalkeeping License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and her United States Soccer Federation "D" license. She is in the process of completing her "C" license. In the summer of 2008, she attended the NCAA Women Coaches Academy.
Clark earned her bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in German from Western Illinois in 2007. Currently, she is working on her master's degree in kinesiology with a specialization in sports performance at Louisiana Tech.
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