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Student-athlete profile on Sam Reider '14

Sam Reider '14 has started all 10 games on defense this fall for the men's soccer team. Sam is in his third year with the program and will help lead Hamilton into a NESCAC contest against Colby College at Love Field on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2:30 p.m. The computer science major is also a standout sprinter on the indoor and outdoor track & field teams.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up.
A. I grew up in Slingerlands, New York, which is just outside Albany. We moved to Slingerlands from Albany when I was in third grade and it was a great place to grow up. When I was younger I could play outside with other kids in the neighborhood. I went to a large public high school where soccer games were well attended. We had a band at home games that would keep fans (and players) engaged and excited. It was a fun atmosphere.

Q. How did you get interested in soccer?
A. I started playing on a rec team called the Pirates when I was four and I was hooked immediately. My mom helped coach and made me play keeper in the second half so I would stop scoring goals. Since then I’ve played pretty much year round.

Q. Did you participate in any other sports competitively before college?
A. I played baseball until junior year of high school when I joined the track team. The only thing I really miss about baseball is the sunflower seeds.

Q. What factored into your decision to choose Hamilton College?
A. My mom went to Hamilton, but I always insisted that I wouldn't go where my parents went. Then I visited the school, met some of the students, men’s soccer coach Perry Nizzi and men’s track & field coach Brett Hull, and realized that this would be a great place for me. Hamilton has the right mix of nice people, dedicated (but reasonable) athletes and strong, supportive faculty.

Q. You participate in a sport every season (track & field in winter and spring). How do you balance academics and athletics?
A. I am very efficient with my time. I keep a detailed planner with everything I need to do and when I’m going to do it. This is something I got in the habit of doing sophomore year and made it easy to take advantage of smaller blocks of time throughout the day. I like to keep busy and really enjoy being physically active. The time away from academics really helps me keep focused when it's time to study.

Q. You are a defender on the team. For readers not as familiar with the sport of soccer, what are your responsibilities playing in the back?
A. My first concern as a defender is to make sure that the other team doesn't score. Along with that I try to keep the players in front of me organized and get them the ball in situations where they can be dangerous.

Q. This Saturday the team hosts Colby College for a NESCAC game. Could you give a preview of what fans can expect for that contest?
A. Saturday’s game will be a battle as all NESCAC games are. Colby is a quality team. They have caught some bad breaks this year and lost close games to evenly matched teams. We are fighting for a chance at the postseason, so we’ll throw everything we have at them in order to win the game.

Q. Do you have a favorite Hamilton men's soccer story that can be shared?
A. My favorite on-field memory has to be when we beat Tufts University in overtime my sophomore year. We were down 1-0 late in the second half and fighting to keep our postseason hopes alive. Griffin Abbott ’15 came off the bench and got the equalizer for us, and then in the second overtime he scored again to win it.

In addition to the great experiences on the field, I have really enjoyed being part of the Hamilton soccer family. Coach Nizzi's mom comes to almost all of our home games, and many parents come to both home and away games to show support and share the experience with us. One of my favorite events was hosting the team and families at our family house near Middlebury College last season.

Q. Is it a seamless or difficult transition from soccer season to track & field season for you?
A. The transition isn’t too bad. I have to take it easy for a few weeks because there’s a lot of wear and tear on my body during soccer season. Once I’ve recovered, I am fit from soccer but I use my body differently in track, so it takes a month or so to be in the right shape to race.

Q. Any thoughts on how the U.S. men's team will fare in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?
A. Depends on the draw, but I’m fairly confident they’ll get out of group play. After that, anything can happen. Soccer is a weird sport in that often one team can dominate every facet of the game and lose by one goal.

Q. Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite class from your time here at Hamilton?
A. I really enjoyed Principles of Programming Languages with Mark Bailey. It was the most challenging and time-consuming class I’ve taken here, but also the most rewarding. Two others I particularly enjoyed were Critical Reasoning with Katheryn Doran and American Political Process with Ted Eismeier.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?
A. I plan to take some time to digest the last 17 years of school and then work in software development. I love solving problems for others, and creating great software is a powerful way to do that.

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