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Five To Be Inducted Into UMass Hall Of Fame

Khari Mitchell-Samuel was one of the all-time great UMass linebackers.

Khari Mitchell-Samuel was one of the all-time great UMass linebackers.

Nov. 1, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Athletic Department has announced five new members will be inducted into the George "Trigger" Burke UMass Athletic Hall of Fame making up the Class of 2012. The legends will be honored on Saturday, January 26 in the Student Union Ballroom at 6 PM. To attend the ceremony, please contact Jason Germain in UMass Athletics at 413-577-0267. The cost to attend is $50 per person. UMass will induct these all-time legends: Cari Nickerson Lovejoy (Women's Lacrosse 1977-80), Khari Mitchell-Samuel (Football 1995-98), Tim Soudan (Men's Lacrosse 1987-90), Octavia Thomas (Women's Basketball 1993-96), and Phil Vandersea (1961-64).

CARI NICKERSON LOVEJOY (WOMEN'S LACROSSE, 1977-80)
One of the top offensive players in women's lacrosse history, Cari Nickerson Lovejoy still holds one of the longest standing program records 30 years after she played at UMass. She is the only player in program history to be named a two-time IWLCA All-America First Team selection.

In her career, she led UMass to the USWLA Semifinals in 1978, the USWLA Championship Game in 1979 and the AIAW Semifinals in 1980. During her four years, she helped lead UMass to a 58-7-6 overall record - the best in any four years for the program. That success set the foundation for UMass to win the 1982 NCAA National Championship - the first sponsored for women's lacrosse by the NCAA.

To date, Nickerson Lovejoy is the second leading point producer in UMass history with 219 points - a mark that stood for 30+ years before Jackie Lyons broke it by seven points in 2011. She still holds the record for career assists with 106. That total is 23 more than Lyons' second-place total of 83. Her 113 goals still ranks among the top-10 coming in at seventh all-time. Her single-season mark of 34 assists was surpassed in 2012 after also standing for 30+ years. Additionally, she is tied for fifth all-time in single-season points after scoring 71 during the 1979 season.

 

 

In 1979, Nickerson Lovejoy was named to the IWLCA All-America First Team and the USWLA All-Tournament Team. She repeated the All-America First Team honor as a senior in 1980.

KHARI MITCHELL-SAMUEL (FOOTBALL, 1995-98)
One of the all-time great linebackers in the history of the UMass football, Khari Mitchel-Samuel was a key component for the 1998 NCAA National Championship team and left a legacy at the position that is still a measurement for success. A first-team All-American and first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection, Mitchell-Samuel was one of the best all-around defensive players in school history, able to stuff the run, put pressure on the quarterback and drop off into coverage.

To date, he ranks second in career total tackles (495), second in solo tackles (328) and sixth in assisted tackles (167). The two-time team captain in 1997 and 1998 also ranks third in single season tackles (160) and second in solo tackles (113). His 19 career sacks is still good for 8th-best all-time.

As a senior in 1998, Mitchel-Samuel received the George "Bulger" Lowe Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston as the best Division I defensive player in New England. Following the completion of his collegiate career, Samuel was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft.

TIM SOUDAN (MEN'S LACROSSE, 1987-90)
A two-time second-team All-America and All-New England selection, Tim Soudan was an integral part of the UMass men's lacrosse team from 1987-90 helping the Minutemen to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and four straight New England titles. Soudan finished his career with 114 total points and 84 goals. His 84 goals still rank as the best-ever by a midfielder. All told, he helped guide UMass through one of its best four-year periods as the Minutemen recorded a 41-14 record during his career.

The Fairport, N.Y., native produced his two best seasons as a junior in 1989 and as a senior in 1990. During the 1989 campaign, he scored 31 goals and added 7 assists, while in 1990 he notched 32 goals and 18 assists. Soudan earned All-American and All-New England honors in both those campaigns. Additionally as a senior, he was selected as a tri-captain for legendary head coach Dick Garber's final season. At the conclusion of his senior year, he was selected to play in the annual North/South All-Star Game.

Following his collegiate career, Soudan was selected twice to the U.S. National Team in the 1994 and 1998 World Championships winning gold both times. In 2002, he once again played for Team USA in the Heritage Cup against Team Canada.

He enjoyed a successful career in professional lacrosse as well. From 1991 through 2005, Soudan played both profession indoor and outdoor lacrosse. From 1991-1994, he played for the Boston Blazers before moving on to the Rochester Knighthawks where he played until 2005. He also played for the Rochester Rattlers from 2001-03 in outdoor lacrosse.

All told, he played in 173 total games over his 15 seasons of indoor lacrosse with 198 goals and 203 assists. To date, he still ranks among the top-10 of every major offensive category in Knighthawks history and is a member of the NLL franchise's Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was also inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Greater Rochester Chapter Hall of Fame.

After finishing as a player, Soudan eventually became the assistant General Manager for the Knighthawks in 2008. In 2011, the Rochester Rattlers named him the franchise's head coach. In September 2012, Soudan was named the head coach for the U.S. Indoor National Team for the Bowhunter Cup.

OCTAVIA THOMAS (WOMEN'S BASKETBALL, 1993-96)
The No. 2 scorer in program history, Octavia Thomas was a major force in the UMass women's basketball resurgence in the mid-1990's. During her career from 1993-1996, Thomas helped turn a program that had won nine total games in the previous three seasons into a team that made the WNIT and the NCAA tournaments during her junior and senior campaigns.

The forward from Newark, N.J., averaged 15.7 points and 7.9 rebounds over the course of her career. She finished her time at UMass with 1,791 points and is one of just four players to eclipse the 1,500 point barrier. Her 903 rebounds ranks second all-time, while her 173 steals is tied for sixth. One of the most accurate shooters in program history, she is second in field goal percentage (.528) and second in total field goals made (672) and first in free throws made (442).

In 1993, Thomas was named to the All-Rookie Team and was the Rookie of the Year in the Atlantic 10. She earned All-Atlantic 10 First Team honors in 1994 and 1996, while being named to the second team in 1995.

Thomas led UMass to its first-ever postseason berth in 1995 as the Minutewomen qualified for the NIT Tournament posting a 70-61 win over Virginia Commonwealth in the first round. The Minutewomen followed that up in 1996 with a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Against Michigan State, Thomas scored 21 points in a narrow 60-57 overtime loss in the first round as the ninth-seeded Spartans upset the eighth-seeded Minutewomen.

PHIL VANDERSEA (FOOTBALL 1961-65)
A versatile player who helped set a bar for success in the early 1960's, Phil Vandersea led the UMass football program to great heights before being drafted by the NFL's Green Bay Packers and playing for the legendary Vince Lombardi.

As a starting fullback for UMass in 1965, Vandersea was considered one of the best ever in program history at the position. He finished the year as the second-leading rusher picking up 388 yards on 100 carries and the third-leading scorer with six touchdowns.

In 1963, he helped UMass post its only undefeated season with an 8-0-1 record and the program's second-ever Yankee Conference Championship title. During that season, Vandersea again played fullback, but showed his versatility as the team's second leading punter (36.3 yard average) and had an interception on defense.

When the program celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1982, Vandersea was named to UMass' All-Time Team as the starting full back.

After the 1965 season, Vandersea was picked in the 16th round (220th overall) of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers where he played for Lombardi. He played linebacker and on special teams during the 1966 season which saw the Packers win the first-ever Super Bowl against Kansas City. Following the year, he was taken by New Orleans in the 1967 expansion draft before returning to Green Bay for the 1968 and 1969 seasons. All told, in four years in the NFL, Vandersea played in 46 games at five different positions (FB, LB, TE, DE, DT) as well as on all special teams.

After injury forced him to miss much of the 1970 and 1971 seasons, Vandersea played for one year in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes.

Following his playing career, he became an assistant coach at Holy Cross from 1975-78 which was highlighted by a 7-4 mark and wins over Army, Air Force and Boston College in 1978.

Vandersea worked for 20 years as a member of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections serving as a case worker, counselor, Parole Board Liaison, and community release supervisor.

From 2001-2010, Vandersea became involved as a charter member of the NFL Retired Players of New England Chapter serving as secretary and treasurer. The goal of the chapter is to help and assist retired NFL players who have financial and health benefit hardships. He has also be active in studies and understanding of the long term effects of concussions in football which have been integral in the new regulations pertaining to the sport, especially at the youth level.

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