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Swenson named assistant, to coach field hockey goalkeepers

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Samantha Swenson, the 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the University of Michigan and a two-time All-American, is a new assistant coach and goalkeeper specialist for the Colby College field hockey program.

Swenson joins head coach Kelly Terwilliger, an Ohio State graduate, and fellow Michigan graduate and current assistant coach Leslie Smith to form a Big Ten coaching staff.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Sam to the Colby field hockey family. She is coming off an incredible collegiate playing career and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our backfield,” Terwilliger said. “Sam’s commitment to the game as one of the top goalkeepers in the country, coupled with her positive energy, make her a natural teacher and players’ coach.” 

Swenson’s collegiate play helped her to be selected to the USA Field Hockey National Development Squad in 2017. She had played for England’s under-21 and under-18 squads on an international level.

A dual citizen of England and the United States, Swenson ended her career at powerhouse Michigan by leading the Wolverines to the NCAA Division I Final Four in 2017 for the first time since 2002. A captain as a senior, Swenson led Michigan to the Big Ten regular season and conference championships. She earned National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American Second Team and All-West Region First Team honors after finishing tied for first in the country in save percentage (.816) and second in both goals against average (0.80) and win-loss percentage (.864, 19-3).

Swenson graduated as the only goalkeeper in Michigan field hockey history to earn the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honor and to be unanimously selected to the All-Big Ten First Team. She was part of the nation’s best 16 shutouts in 2017.

Swenson became Michigan’s first-ever All-American goalie after her sophomore season. She also earned All-West Region First Team and All-Big Ten First Team honors after leading the nation in save percentage (.837) and finishing second in goals against average (0.78). 

Despite missing time due to injury as a junior, Swenson still earned All-West Region and All-Big Ten Second Team honors. She was on the Big Ten all-tournament team during her first year at Michigan.

Swenson grew up in England and played with the Harrogate Hockey Club, earning two player-of-the-season awards. In her seven seasons of play in grade school, she served as captain five times.

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