An opposing team can put two, three or four defenders on Samiya Reid and she will still find a way to score.
The Floral Park sophomore forward has the innate ability to create plays for herself and others on the soccer field, which she has proven often throughout her varsity career. Reid scored five goals in an 8-2 win over Carey on Tuesday, and has 22 goals and two assists this season. She is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.
“[Tuesday] I know it was the [opposing] coach's goal just to stop her and she had two, three girls trying to stop her,” Floral Park coach Maryl FItzpatrick said. “And she was still able to open up the field for all the goals.”
But Reid doesn’t view it as her needing to get past multiple defenders by herself. She relies on teammates to help her get open, and her ability to help others creates matchup problems by drawing attention to herself.
“It leaves my other teammates open, and it takes away from the pressure they have and they have more opportunities to score,” Reid said. “I just keep moving side to side and trying to lose the defender and get them in and out.”
Along with her five-goal game on Tuesday, Reid scored five goals in a win over Division earlier this season. She also had three-goal performances against Glen Cove and Oyster Bay.
“She’s an outstanding athlete,” Fitzpatrick said. “She has some of the best footwork skills that I’ve seen in my almost 10 years of coaching. She selects good shots, she’s able to fake out goalies with that outstanding footwork and that’s really what sets her apart.”
Reid has been on the varsity team since the eighth grade and is a three-year starter. She admitted to feeling initial nerves competing against girls older and bigger than her, but she quickly proved to herself that she belonged on that field.
“I thought it was going to be hard at first, but then I realized I could do it and I just had to keep working until I was satisfied with myself,” Reid said. “I have a strong relationship with my team and they help me along the way.”
Part of the reason Reid felt she belonged is from her experience playing high level club soccer. She has traveled across the country and even to different countries playing and training with some of the best players in her age group from the region. Reid said it has helped with her confidence and Fitzpatrick has seen the play translate on the field.
“I think understanding how to play in a different environment helps her on those tough days when she has three players on her,” Fitzpatrick said. “And it helps her mental game.”
And when it comes to dedication, few can match Reid.
"She’s a kid that would play soccer eight days a week if there were eight days in a week," Fitzpatrick said.