BY KAITLYN FLETCHER, STAFF WRITER
Kayla Hamric had a breakthrough start to her junior season. Within the first six games of the season, the 5-5 junior forward and midfielder has already matched her career-high in assists.
As a four-year varsity starter at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia, Hamric is used to pushing herself both on and off the field in order to achieve more than just a win.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016, she guided the Battlefield Bobcats to not one, not two, but three Virginia 6A State Championships, receiving the Most Valuable Player award.
During her sophomore season, Hamric’s stats consisted entirely of career highs. As a team, Mason went 14-6 overall last season and Hamric established a name for herself.
She finished the season with three goals and three assists for nine points and was third on the team in goals, assists and points, which were all career highs.
Now, less than halfway through the season, Hamric has matched her career-high in assists and is pushing herself to surpass it.
“It feels amazing to have accomplished that. I knew coming into this year that I wanted to push myself, test the limits, take shots, give other people the chance to take shots and it’s just an amazing feeling to break that record,” explained Hamric.
Hamric credited her motivation to becoming an upperclassman. “Having that turning point of becoming an upperclassman and becoming a player and individual that both freshmen and sophomores may look up to has inspired me,” she said.
During the summer, Hamric credited her productivity to her workout plan. Each player was provided a custom workout plan based on their position. “Not losing our fitness and capabilities was important. I wasn’t just sitting on the couch all summer, I had specific exercises and workouts that I had to complete,” she explained.
Hamric matched her career-high assist total while facing off against the James Madison Dukes in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Hamric earned three points during against JMU, two in the 31st minute of play and the third in the 56th minute of play, when she tied her assist record. Her first two points came from a bending corner kick that found the back of the goal to give Mason a 1-0 lead.
Not too long after, Hamric connected with sophomore defender Kolbrún Eyjólfsdóttir who turned a corner kick shot attempt into a rebound goal. Despite Mason’s initial lead, James Madison later responded with two goals to take the lead and win the match.
Hamric noted support from her family is also her motivation, saying, “They have been there for me my entire life and have always supported me. Whether I have a good game or a bad game, they’re always there to watch and give me a hug after and my dad will give me pointers which are helpful. The support that they have given me is unbelievable.”
Individually, Hamric’s goal for the season is to push herself 100 percent each day and give it her all in each practice and game. Hamric has one goal in mind, win the Atlantic 10 Championship.
“This year I’m really hoping that we can push through, make it into the semifinals, become A-10 champions and make it into the NCAA tournament because that would be an unbelievable experience.”
With an overall record of 2-4-1, Hamric noted there have been a lot of ups and downs that the team has faced so far. Hamric also emphasized the good team chemistry this season.
“Our chemistry is really high compared to past years. We’re all really fighting for each other on the field and we have a bond that is really needed when playing a game like soccer,” she said.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, Mason will go head-to-head against A-10 foe Massachusetts on their home turf.
“We want to treat this game as if it were a home opener,” Hamric said. “If we treat it like a home opener, we’ll have the right attitude, energy and mindset to pull out a win.”