Sept. 1 marked the start of the 2011 season for the William Smith field hockey team. The Herons hosted Oswego State on a newly-resurfaced McCooey Field. For Kiersten Hamilton, the only senior on the team, it marked the beginning of her final season.
Hamilton has been a strong force on the turf for the past three seasons. The economics and Asian studies major led the Herons last fall with nine assists and ranked second with 23 points. She was one of just three Herons to start every game in 2010 and garnered NFHCA All-North Atlantic Region second team honors last year. Hamilton was also named to the All-Liberty League second team. Her successes came not only on the playing field, but also in the classroom, being named to the NFHCA All-Academic Team for the third straight year, and earning a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic Team for the second straight season.
“I expect Kiersten to continue to do a great job leading the team on and off the field,” says Heron Head Coach Sally Scatton. “She has done a great job since day one, leading by her example in the classroom and on the playing field. Kiersten has always been a strong presence. She is a calming influence on the team because of all of the playing experience she brings to the field.”
Hamilton already knows what she has to do this year to continue her successful run. “This year I need to step up and use my teammates to push me and to motivate me. I need to make the most of my teammates to get the ball in the goal,” she says.
She also knows being the only senior on the team will bring with it some unique challenges when it comes to upholding team and class-year traditions. “I’ve already tried to pull the seniority card, but they always have the majority,” Hamilton joked. As a senior, she’ll single-handedly carry on the senior tradition of creating the team’s warm-up CD and decorating the locker room. Last year, she took on the junior tradition of selecting gifts for the six departing seniors – a job that should be fairly easy for this year’s junior team members.
Last year, the Herons suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 loss in double overtime to Hamilton College in the conference tournament semifinals to end their season. This year, William Smith is striving to build on last season and capture the Liberty League championship. Hamilton and her teammates are motivated and ready for this year’s competition.
“We’re focusing on the basics to get us into a rhythm and on track, to get where we want to be – to be Liberty League champions,” she says.