MIT students might not know it, but the greatest goal scorer in the Institute’s soccer history walks among them.
Women’s soccer team captain Amy S. Ludlum ’08 ripped apart the record books this fall, her 52 career goals surpassing both the men’s and women’s all time goal-scoring records. The women’s record has stood for over a decade.
On her way to this accomplishment, the senior from Mission Viejo, Calif., also knocked off a number of other records, including records for goals in a game (four), assists in a game (four), and points in a game (10). Her 18 goals and 15 assists for 51 points so far this year also set a single-season scoring record. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the country with a 3.27 points-per-game average and has led the conference in scoring for the past two seasons.
As reigning New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the first women’s soccer player in MIT history to win this award, and a favorite to nab the honor again this season, Ludlum’s offensive outpouring has helped the women’s soccer team to a 12-5 overall record and a 6-3 mark in conference play, as well as a No. 10 New England ranking.
Gaudy numbers aside, women’s soccer head coach Krista M. Fulton praises Ludlum’s drive and determination to help make MIT a better team.
“What exemplifies the type of player she is, to me, is the day after she was named Player of the Year in the conference last year, she started to prepare for this year — to make her team better this year,” said Fulton, who has coached Ludlum since she was a sophomore.
“She finds a way to continue to motivate herself even though she may stand head and shoulders above others,” Fulton added. “She puts the work in and she puts the effort in throughout the whole year.”
Ludlum is the first to admit that the improvement of the team and the better players around her are a big part of her goal-scoring success in the past several seasons — in her first two seasons, she scored 17 goals; in the last two, she has tallied 35 – and Fulton said this attitude is evident.
“She is an unbelievable goal scorer, but she is also very unselfish,” Fulton said. “She is just as happy to have the game-winning assist as she is to have the game-winning goal.”
Ludlum’s 15 assists this year is one short of the MIT single season record, but, at the end of the day, scoring goals is what Ludlum does. Fulton, who has coached collegiate soccer for over a decade at all levels, said she has rarely seen a goal scorer like her.
“One word to describe her is dangerous,” Fulton said. “She has an uncanny ability to finish the ball from various distances and strange angles. Any time she is on the field, she is a danger to score.”
“As an opposing coach you have to be concerned with where she is on the field at all times,” she added.
One opposing conference coach admitted as much about Ludlum after a recent game and even went as far as to say — meant in the highest form of flattery — “I can’t wait for her to be gone.”
Fellow team captain Mary P. Harding G, a graduate engineering student from Wilton, Conn., said that Ludlum’s competitiveness is not always evident when you first meet her, but her drive manifests on the field, particularly in scoring goals.
“She wants to put the ball in the back of the net and do it again and again,” Harding said.
According to Harding, Ludlum’s skill as a goal scorer was evident early on at MIT and she was relied upon. “If you had Amy 1v1, the whole team did a collective sigh and said, ‘Relax we are going to score,’” Harding said. “She was kind of this stealth presence up top that we could always count on.”
With the team nature of soccer, 11 players working toward one player scoring a goal, Harding admits that everyone feels part of Ludlum’s record-breaking season. “It is really nice to be proud of an all time leading scorer,” she said. “It is something the whole team can be proud of.”