Sam Sherman '15 will help lead the Hamilton College field hockey team into a NESCAC game against Connecticut College at Campus Road Athletic Field on Saturday, Sept. 20, at noon. Sam topped the conference in defensive saves each of the last two years and is a two-time member of the NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team. She is an economics major and starts on defense for the Continentals, who are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference thus far.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?
A. I grew up in Bridgewater, N.J., a large town in northern/central New Jersey. I attended high school with nearly 3,000 other students but I’m the only person from my town who currently attends Hamilton.

Q. How did you become interested in field hockey?
A. In fourth grade I joined an after-school floor hockey program only to realize that I was the only girl who showed up in a group of about 60 boys. I was slightly intimidated but I was driven to prove myself. One of the gym teachers was impressed with my skill and she encouraged me to look into field hockey. That summer I attended my first field hockey camp and within a couple of years I began playing competitively.

Q. Why did you choose to attend Hamilton?
A. I hadn’t heard of Hamilton but I decided to visit after Coach (Gillian) McDonald reached out to me. When I walked on campus, I sensed the genuine nature of the students and saw myself fitting in well. I knew Hamilton would allow me to have an academically enriching experience while pursuing my passion for field hockey.

Q. You have been credited with 17 defensive saves so far in your college career, which is quite a few for a field player. What has been the key to you getting to that number?
A. Given my role as a post player on corners and as a defender in general, preventing the ball from entering the cage is my job. Victoria Trentini (our goalie) and I have been working together for the past three years, and we have strong communication skills and can read each other’s angles well. Typically I just angle myself off Victoria’s positioning, keep my stick down and stay low and firm.

Q. The team is 1-1 so far in the NESCAC. How well can this group do in the conference this year?
A. Given our team’s talent, leadership and determination, I expect us to perform better than ever this year. Our team culture is driven by a sense of accountability to ourselves and to each other, and our daily work ethic reflects this attitude. The NESCAC is the most competitive conference in Division III field hockey but I am confident in our ability to qualify for the NESCAC tournament.

Q. What is your favorite Hamilton field hockey memory so far?
A. My favorite memory is beating Bates College last season. Our team hadn’t won a game for a while and the victory was so sweet. The collective joy that we experienced was indescribable and I can still vividly picture leaping through the air and sprinting into a massive dog pile. Following the win, our coach let us dye a streak of her hair blue!

Q. You are a two-time member of the NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team. How do you balance athletics and academics?
A. My strategy for balancing athletics and academics is time management. The time commitment in season forces me to prioritize and take advantage of any free time I may have. Coach McDonald is very thoughtful when planning our games so that we rarely have to miss class, and that’s helpful too.

Q. Where is your go-to place for studying?
A. CJ! Perfect location, comfy couches and big tables.

Q. What internships/research projects have you participated in?
A. The summer after my sophomore year I conducted research at Hamilton under Professor Owen in the economics department. My group performed a multidimensional analysis of success in cities across the U.S. This past summer, I had an internship at Towers Watson in the Health and Group Benefits consulting department. The internship went really well and I will be working for Towers Watson after I graduate.

Q. Is there a class you have taken that has been especially rewarding/interesting?
A. I really enjoyed Health Economics with Professor Wu. The material I learned was complex, intriguing and very new to me. The class also opened my mind to exploring tradeoffs and different perspectives on controversial issues like opt-out organ donation policies. The course content and critical thinking skills I developed were crucial in attaining my job for next year.

Q. What can fans expect to see in this Saturday's game against Connecticut College?
A. Saturday’s game against Conn. College will be a competitive match. Conn is always a challenging opponent but our team is looking strong and we’re determined to earn this win.

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