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Alex Hall's College Notebook: Scoring goals is a specialty for Stratham's Kendall Ham

By ALEX HALL
October 01. 2017 3:34AM
Bucknell forward Kendall Ham, of Stratham, led the Patriot League in goals last season and is on the watchlist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the best player in college soccer. (Courtesy of Bucknell University)



EACH TIME Kendall Ham steps onto the pitch with the Bucknell University women's soccer team, she wants to be dangerous.

The senior forward from Stratham's career to this point indicates she achieves that feat often.

Ham was tied for fifth in program history in career goals (32) and tied for sixth in career points (76) entering Bucknell's game at Patriot League foe Holy Cross Saturday.

The Bison owned a 6-5 overall record and had won five straight entering their bout with Holy Cross.

Ham led the Patriot League in goals (15) and points (35) last year en route to the Bison capturing the league crown. The Governor's Academy of Byfield, Mass., graduate earned the league's offensive player of the year award last season.

Ham was named the league's preseason offensive player of the year and to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list before this season began. The MAC Hermann Trophy is given annually to the best college soccer player in the nation.

Ham has noticed a difference in how opponents are defending her this year due to her notable junior campaign. The extra attention has not changed Ham's approach, however.

"I just try to be dangerous and good things will come," Ham said.

Indeed they will.

Ham entered Saturday's contest leading Bucknell in both goals (three) and points (nine) and as the reigning Patriot League offensive player of the week.

Ham had scored three goals over the team's prior two games entering the Holy Cross bout. Her most recent goal entering Saturday came in Bucknell's 3-0 triumph at Loyola this past Wednesday. Ham's identical twin sister, Jackie, also scored in the victory. It marked the third time in their careers that the twin sisters scored in the same game.

"We're really close and it's special to share this experience together: school, soccer and the championship last year," Kendall said.

Kendall said she and Jackie, a defender, never discussed whether or not they wanted to attend the same college when deciding on where to enroll.

"It was kind of assumed," Kendall said. "When we were visiting schools we always went together. We planned to go together but we never had that conversation."

The sisters are rooming together this school year but they are not the only teammates doing so. Kendall said everyone on the roster lives with a teammate, which plays an important role in the team's chemistry.

The connection Kendall has with her teammates and the speed the Bison possess help her be a scoring threat, she said.

Kendall knows she and her fellow seniors are responsible for strengthening that chemistry and leading the team.

"As seniors, we set the tone at practice and it translates to games," Kendall said. "We want to have a positive attitude, work hard and set a positive example for the freshmen."

The season is flying by, Kendall said, so she has been trying to enjoy every practice, weight-lifting session and game. Ideally, Kendall would like to end her senior season the same way she did her junior campaign: with a Patriot League title in hand and an NCAA tournament berth.

"Scoring is always nice but just as long as the team is winning, I'm happy," Kendall said. "I want to keep contributing to that and as a team, we just want to keep executing our game plans."

Women's soccer

Colby-Sawyer College sophomore Sam Mitchell earned her fourth straight North Atlantic Conference defensive player of the week award this past week. The goalkeeper from Chester made 10 saves over 135 minutes in goal en route to the Chargers' 2-0 week.

Field hockey

Simmons College senior Julie Saltamartini became the program's all-time goals leader Sept. 24, when she logged her fourth career hat trick in the Sharks' 5-0 victory at Regis College. The forward from East Hampstead logged her record-setting 58th career goal with 20:19 remaining when she scored on her own rebound to mark her third tally of the game.

St. Michael's College senior Jenna Deschaine was selected to the Northeast-10 Conference weekly honor roll this past week. The starting back from Claremont tallied three goals and one assists over a 2-1 week for the Purple Knights. Deschaine recorded the first two-goal game of her career in her team's 2-1 win over Assumption College Sept. 23.

Endicott College senior Emylee Wood was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference defensive player of the week this past week. The defender from Kensington anchored a back line that helped the Gulls to a 2-1 mark last week.

Football

Plymouth State University sophomore Jacob Szulc was named to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference weekly honor roll for a third straight time this past week. The wide receiver from Concord logged 101 yards and two touchdowns on two receptions for the Panthers in their 37-7 triumph over UMass Dartmouth Sept. 23.

Volleyball

Fitchburg State University freshman Jessica Peirce was named to the MASCAC weekly honor roll this past week. The defensive specialist from Brentwood logged eight service aces, 24 digs and eight points over nine sets for the Falcons last week.

Women's cross-country

New England College freshman Isabela Fast was chosen as the NAC rookie of the week this past week. Fast, of Chester, finished 33rd at the Pop Cromwell Invitational at Gordon College Sept. 23 with a time of 21 minutes, 56.3 seconds.

Women's tennis

Plymouth State freshman Sage Winter was named the Little East Conference player of the week this past week. Winter, of New Castle, won three of her four matches as the Panthers went 1-1 last week.

Women's hockey

Shayna Tomlinson was named one of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's three captains for the upcoming season. Tomlinson, a senior forward from Gilford, is the Engineers' top returning scorer after registering 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) last year.

Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer will induct basketball and volleyball player Amy Callahan, multi-sport athlete Candice Raines, soccer player Matt Solazzo, tennis player Kirsten Soroko and basketball player Brian Wilder into its athletics hall of fame Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Ware Student Center.

Callahan, a 2002 graduate, is one of two Colby-Sawyer student-athletes to win an NCAA tournament first-round game in two sports. She remains among the volleyball program's top-10 leaders all-time in kills (851, 10th), solo blocks (96, fourth), kills per set (2.41, eighth) and attack percentage (.225, 10th).

Raines, who graduated in 1971, was a member of the school's inaugural nordic ski team and also played field hockey, lacrosse and basketball at Colby-Sawyer.

Solazzo, a 2004 graduate, led the Chargers in both points and goals each of his four seasons and held the all-time record for career goals from 2003-16 with 41.

Soroko, who graduated in 1992, logged 44 singles and 35 doubles victories over her career, playing primarily as the team's first seed.

Wilder, a 1999 graduate, helped Colby-Sawyer win its first Eastern College Athletic Conference title in the 1997-98 season. He still holds the program record for most field goals made in a single season (252) and is second in single-season field goal percentage (60.1).

Alex Hall compiles the college notebook for the New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at ahall@unionleader.com or on Twitter @AlexKHall.


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