Hamilton, a senior co-captain, led the Gators in goals and assists each of the past two years, scoring a school record 21 goals last fall. She tallied a hat trick in Shipley’s season opener against Academy of Notre Dame, and has received All-Friends Schools League honors every year since her her freshman season. Last fall, many of the goals she scored were vital to the Gators advancing to the FSL championship finals. In the spring, Hamilton plays varsity softball for Shipley.
Q: What in your opinion have been the biggest keys to your scoring proficiency?
A: I have become a much more confident player over the past few years, and I think that it’s a big reason why I have been more successful with my play. It is easy to put yourself down for making a bad pass or missing a shot, but it is important to believe in your abilities. [Shipley head coach] Dakota Carroll has helped me progress as a player and so have my teammates, and I think they are a big reason why I feel comfortable taking as many shots as I can knowing that whether or not it goes in, I am supported.
Q: What aspects of your game are you working on most currently?
A: I am working on my physicality and being able to hold off defenders when they are on my back. It is something I have been working on but something that I know I will always have to practice.
Q: What was your most vivid memory of last season? Can you share your recollections with us?
A: My most vivid memory is every game we got scored on, our goalkeeper at the time (Grace Gordon) pulled the team together on the field and always told us what we need to work on. It is something that motivated the team and inspired us to keep our heads up and to come out with urgency to score goals and focus on playing our style. She was always able to hype the team up and helped us relax and play the best soccer we could. Another memory was playing under the lights during Super Saturday. Our whole school came to watch us and it was an awesome feeling to know that we were supported by them.
Q: How do you see your leadership role as a team captain this fall?
A: I am super excited to be a captain with Sarah Cotteta, Lexi Wojtelwicz and Hannah Brainsky. We are working to create a team that feels like family. When we were underclassmen that is something that was instilled in our program, and we are looking to carry that on to create a stronger connection on the field. The girls are so much fun to be around and there energy is contagious along with their intense work ethic and it makes our job as captains a lot easier.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in soccer. What originally attracted you to soccer? Who have been your most important soccer mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: I started playing soccer the second I knew how to walk. I played with my four older brothers and constantly got beat up, but I never stopped because I always wanted to be just like them. They have helped me improve as a player so much because of their tough love. They taught me how to take a hit and get right back up which was very important when I was younger because of my small stature. Another mentor who is very important to me is my club coach, Sam Griggs. He taught me to be confident in my play and not to care what people think of me. I used to be a scared player who never wanted the ball and would just kick it away so I wasn’t responsible for any mistakes. I learned that mistakes help you grow as a player and to improve you have to take risks and learn from your mistakes.
Q: Briefly describe for us your pre-game preparation (physical, mental) on the day of a game.
A: Before games, we get the team together in the locker room and blast music as loud as we can. Sometimes we dance around and laugh or sometimes we play an inspirational speech to help us get in the zone. I love to laugh and release all the stress that I might be feeling and try to let go of that, so I can solely focus on the game. During warm-ups, I try to set a goal for myself so that I constantly have something to work for, whether it is to score a goal or work on winning as many air balls as I can. I also always have a bag of pretzels that I snack on before every game so that I am fueled for the game, and I eat these throughout the game to keep me energized.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 5 for Shipley – is there a reason you picked this number – does it have any significance to you?
A: I have always been No. 5. I got this number from my brother who I looked up to as a player and the number reminds me of him every time I play.
Q: What do you think you might want to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: Right now my goal is to become an orthodontist, so I would most likely major in biology.
Fun facts – Alivia Hamilton
Favorite book: And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie.
Favorite TV show: The Office.
Favorite movie: The Sound of Music.
Favorite athlete: Tobin Heath.
Favorite team: USWNT.
Favorite place to visit: “My cousins in Arizona.”
Favorite pre-game meal: “Any kind of pasta and salad.”
Person I most admire: “All of my brothers because they are successful and caring and have been the perfect role models.”
Family members: parents Mary and Glenn (“best parents ever”) and brothers Cal, Ian, Aidan and Nolan.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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