Ardmore – When Lower Merion senior forward Samantha Bruttomesso-Clarke signed her National Letter of Intent to play field hockey at East Stroudsburg University Monday, LM Athletic Director Don Walsh noted the signing was a reflection of the Aces’ emerging field hockey program.
Last fall, the Aces made the district playoffs for what is believed to be the first time in program history. This fall, Lower Merion made a repeat visit to Districts.
Much of Lower Merion’s success the past two years has been due to the play of Bruttomesso-Clarke, who has received All-Central League honors the past two years. Last year, she was a center mid, scoring five goals and dishing out 12 assists; this fall, she moved to forward and tallied seven goals.
“When I started playing on the varsity as a sophomore I could see the [improvement] in attitude,” said Bruttomesso-Clarke. “It’s like we don’t get scared by the name [of the school] on the uniform anymore.”
A three-sport athlete, Bruttomesso-Clarke plays ice hockey for Lower Merion in the winter and is a midfielder/forward for the Aces’ lacrosse team in the spring. She also plays field hockey as a forward/midfielder for her Mystx club team.
“When I did my overnight [trip] to East Stroudsburg, I really liked their team and its players. I really feel [bonding with] the team is important. And I liked their coach’s passion for the game.”
The Lower Merion senior is thinking of majoring in early education at East Stroudsburg, with a minor in photography. She enjoys photographing nature, particularly when she traveled to South Africa with Singing City in July during their concert tour (her mother, Deborah Clarke, is a choir member of Singing City).
Lower Merion field hockey head coach Rachael Bloemker said, “Sam is a player who exhibits her love of the game by her example on the field and as a captain of her team. Off the field, she kept her teammates organized, focused and was always informed and prepared. On the field, Sam lead with every ounce of effort, her smooth stick skills and a keen awareness of tactics of the game. She is a quiet leader, but one who her teammates respect and could always depend on. East Stroudsburg is fortunate to have such an incoming player.”