Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nh's Somple Defies All Odds to Taste Success

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nh's Somple Defies All Odds to Taste Success

Article excerpt

ALLENDALE - Cathy Somple remembers the early checkups.

She recalls doctors informing her that her daughter, Ariel - the youngest of triplets - would be behind in her motor skills after weighing only 3 pounds, 3 ounces at birth.

She then quickly dropped to 2 pounds, 14 ounces, only exacerbating those concerns.

But Cathy Somple still refused to believe those predictions would come true.

"I didn't think so because she was the first one of the three moving," Cathy said of Ariel, a senior forward on the Northern Highlands' girls soccer team who has a brother, Andrew, who wrestles for Bergen Catholic, and a sister, Madison.

"Then she was walking at 9 months old. And running right after that. They said her motor skills would be delayed. But it never happened."

Not only were her skills never delayed, Ariel Somple's athleticism thrived. She gravitated toward soccer, developing deft foot skills by kicking around anything she could find in the house.

Then came the speed that distinguished her from most others. Somple - who stands only 5 feet - put together an illustrious career during the Highlanders' recent record-breaking run and rise to national prominence.

She may have been small in stature, but often played big. And her talent and achievements landed her a scholarship offer from Siena.

Her move to the next level, which didn't come without countless hours of hard work, was made official Wednesday when she signed a National Letter of Intent on National Signing Day.

"It's just always been that, 'You can't deny me anything. I'm going to fight for everything I do. I'm here, take me for what I am,' kind of mentality with her," said her father, Andrew. "And she's a proven success."

Recognized as one of the speediest players in North Jersey, Somple scored a career-high 14 goals last fall, including two signature scores in wins over nationally-ranked Maria Carillo (Calif.) and Hunterdon Central.

She was yet another gifted athlete on a Northern Highlands team that was considered No. …

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