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Goalie Hammaker ’19 posts impressive weekend in net

Senior goalie leads field hockey to 3-1 victory over Villanova, allows only one goal against Penn

The field hockey team traveled to Philadelphia last weekend, falling to Penn 1-0 and defeating Villanova University 3-1. Katie Hammaker ’19 starred in net for the Bears and recorded 14 saves in the loss and 13 in the victory. The win marked the fourth double-digit save game of the season for the senior netminder. With the weekend’s results, the team moves to 7-9 record overall on the season and 1-5 in Ivy League play with one contest remaining.

Hammaker, a senior from Ephrata, Pennsylvania, has had a stellar career as the field hockey team’s goaltender. Since arriving at Brown in 2015, Hammaker has started in net every game that the team has played and received Second Team All-Ivy Honors in 2016. For her outstanding performance against Penn and Villanova this weekend, Hammaker has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on the great performance this weekend. How does it feel to get a big win against Villanova on the road and play so well?

Hammaker: It’s awesome. Especially being a senior and having my last few games, it was just great to have everybody come together and play as a team to pull out a win. Even though we didn’t win against Penn, we really improved upon our performance against them last year, and it was great to see that kind of growth and unity. A lot of grit and hard work, and I’m just really proud of how the team played this weekend.

With only one game remaining in your college career, you are currently fifth all-time for career saves by a Brown goalkeeper with 346. How does it feel to make such an impact on the team? (Since the interview, Hammaker has moved to third all-time for career saves by a Brown goalkeeper with 462.)

It’s unreal. I didn’t know that until a few weeks ago. It’s just great to be part of the tradition here. It’s been such a huge part of my life and to see how much I’ve grown as a person and a player since I’ve been here has been really special. I’m just so proud to come from a program and a place like this.

When did you first start playing field hockey?

I first started playing in seventh grade, which is a lot later than most people where I’m from. I’ve always played goalie because I didn’t like running, and I thought I was pretty good so I just stuck with it.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

I always pray before games. It just keeps me calm and keeps me centered. Sometimes when my emotions or my energy get too high, then I don’t play as well. So, doing that keeps me grounded and reminds me of what’s important going into the game.

What has been your favorite memory with the field hockey team?

Definitely senior day during my sophomore year. We came back from a two-goal deficit to tie Yale and take them into overtime, and then we won in overtime. That was a really special experience for the seniors that year and we got to help them. Hopefully we can replicate that this weekend, but that was definitely one of my favorite memories.

What do you want to see out of the team in your last game against Yale?

I just want to see hard work for 70 minutes. Yale is a very good team that is not going to give up for those 70 minutes, so I think (playing) unified, (with) no pressure and taking risks will be really important. (It’s) something that I know we can accomplish.

What will you miss most about being on the team?

I’ll miss the people and the friendships that I’ve made. It’s really what it’s all about. Field hockey has given me a lot of confidence and belief in myself, and so I’m excited for what’s to come to take that into the rest of my life.

What are you concentrating in and hope to do after Brown?

I’m concentrating in education studies, focusing on human development. I’m hoping to start teaching in the elementary and special-ed realm. Then, I’d like to move up and become a principal and maybe down the road open my own school or get into education policy.

The Bears will return to the Goldberger Family Field for their final game of the season against Yale Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity


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