The senior midfielder has been an extremely versatile performer the past two years for the Malvern Prep soccer team. This year, Hammond was moved from defender (where he was a second team All-Inter-Ac selection in 2016) to midfielder and is currently the leading scorer for the Friars (9-4-4, 5-2-1 as of Oct. 30), and has played a crucial role in the team posting shutouts in five Inter-Ac games. Malvern Prep head coach Andrew Kummerer said, “Lucas is a very intelligent and versatile player who I’ve used in four different positions in the last two years – defensive midfield, attacking midfield, right back and center back – and because he’s very mentally tough and has great composure on the ball he’s done it with great success.” Off the pitch, Hammond also plays squash for Malvern Prep and is Vice President of the National Art Honors Society at Malvern.
A: The biggest difference between playing defense and in the middle is the speed in which you have to play. As a defender, you are able to take your time because you only have one or maybe two strikers pressuring you. As a midfielder, you have to be able to get the ball played in and get it out of your feet quickly because it is much more congested and there are many more opponents applying pressure. In the middle you need to have much more composure on the ball and quicker decision-making, compared to playing defender.
Q: What was the highlight of your experience at Talen Energy Stadium in the game against SCHA earlier this month? Can you share your memory of it with us?
A: Playing at Talen Energy was a really exciting moment for the team. We were able to use the professional locker rooms as well as walk out to the MLS music prior to the game. I think the best moment though was when my teammate, Scott White, scored the only goal of the game and the Union’s goal scoring Doop song was played. It was really fun to be able to celebrate as a team and we all felt like we were on the Union as that song was being played. Overall, it was an incredible experience to play at Talen Energy especially being able to get a win.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest key to your productive offensive output?
A: I believe that the biggest key to scoring goals this season has been staying disciplined and aggressive on set pieces. All of my InterAc goals this season have come off of a set piece whether that be a throw-in, corner, or penalty kick. The key is to know your runs and if the ball comes to you then you have to be able to finish under pressure. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates who do the hard work to get the ball in the middle and I have just been there to clean up the mess.
Q: What (in your opinion) is the biggest key to playing defense as a midfielder?
A: Playing defense in the middle of the field is much different than playing on the back line. As a center defensive mid, my main job is to sit back and stop counter attacks so that they can’t reach my back line. When I see the opposing team start a counter and begin to break forward, I try to go to the ball and make him slow down the pace of play. If I am able to force him to make a negative pass or turn the ball over then this is a win and we can recover back behind the ball. Defending in the midfield can be challenging because there is so much space around you but being patient is the biggest key so that you can’t be beaten 1v1.
Q: What (in your opinion) has been the highlight of your Malvern Prep soccer career to date – can you share your most vivid memory of it with us?
A: Definitely the best memory I have with Malvern soccer thus far was our pre-season trip to Italy. We were able to travel as a team to Northern Italy and Switzerland to train and see the sights. It was a really great bonding experience for the team and it was a lot of fun. My best memory while there was during our first game overseas. We were playing a team from Switzerland and the field seemed like it was carved directly out of the mountains. It was so surreal to think that I was playing a game of soccer in Switzerland with my brothers. That is something that I’ll never forget.
Q: What is your favorite class at Malvern Prep? What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite class this year is a course called historical preservation. My teacher, Mr. Mcguire, is really passionate about the subject and it makes his class very exciting and interesting. I would like to study business in college, and possibly work in supply chain management.
Q: You wear No. 20 for Malvern Prep – was there a reason you chose this number – does this number have any significance to you?
A: It’s actually kind of a funny story. For my junior year season, I had my heart set on wearing No. 19 because that’s the number I’ve worn for club for many years. When the time came to select numbers, I found out that No. 19 was already selected by my teammate, Brendan Teufel. He wasn’t willing to switch, so I chose No. 20, which was the next closest thing to 19 and I stuck with it.
Q: Do you play club soccer? Who have been your biggest soccer mentors (Malvern Prep and otherwise), and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: I play club soccer for Liverpool Soccer Club Celtic. One of my biggest mentors is my club coach, Kieran Keelan. Kieran has been my coach since I was 13 and he has helped me develop my game tremendously over the years. Kieran has a very laid-back and positive style of coaching and I think this style works really well for Celtic as well as for myself. Kieran is also a coach at Malvern and he believes that you need to play freely and have fun while playing. Coach Kummerer has also been a big mentor for me and has taught me that you need to work hard on the field to get what you want. I think that my success these past two years has been because of my coaches and what they have taught me.
Fun facts – Lucas Hammond
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby.
Favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Favorite TV show: Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Favorite athlete: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Favorite team: New York Giants.
Favorite pre-game meal: Tortellini.
Favorite color: Orange.
Person I most admire: “My brother Garrett because he has gone through a lot and is very strong.”
Family members: parents Gordon and Marie, sister Ivy, brother Garrett.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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