Coming into her sophomore season, goalie Piper Hampsch is looking to take her game and the Blue Devils team to the next level.
And with her growing experience and wealth of talent, Hampsch feels that she’s up to the challenge.
In a freshman season filled with unprecedented obstacles due to the pandemic, the Blue Devils’ starting goalie made major steps toward success as the season progressed. In her first five starts, Hampsch struggled to find her footing, allowing 19 goals in this stretch. It didn’t take long for her to settle in, and she began to take control of the field. In the final 11 games, she allowed just 23 goals and recorded three shutout wins. Though she just has one year of collegiate field hockey under her belt, she’s not exactly new to her role as a goalie.
Hampsch attended Hopedale Junior-Senior High school in Hopedale, Mass. and played field hockey for six years for the school team. Over this period, her excellent goalie play earned her several accolades, making her a five-time Dual Valley Conference All-Star, two selection to the Massachusetts State All-State team and even the Division II Central MA Player of the Year in her senior year. Despite years of play, though, Hampsch has chosen never to venture outside the comfort of the goal.
“I've never picked up a field player stick,” Hampsch said. “One of my older sisters was a goalie as well. So it was really cool having her equipment and being able to watch her play at the college level before I even started playing in middle school.”
For the Massachusetts native, field hockey has always been a family affair. Her three older sisters all played through college so she was exposed to the game at a young age. When she made her way into Durham, Hampsch had already witnessed much of the adversity that comes with being a collegiate goalie. But nothing could fully prepare her for the adversity that she faced in starting as a freshman in a year so heavily afflicted by COVID.
“She honestly came in and just felt face to fire right away,” head coach Pam Bustin said. “Most of the time that would really mess with a kid's head, but she kept it in perspective. And she just kept pushing and working. And you know, by the end of the spring she's a legit Division I goalkeeper. I'm just really excited for her to continue to grow within this team.”
With her second season on the horizon, Hampsch hopes to use her freshman year experience to take the next step as a goalie.
“Now I can take all the scouting and all the skill development I learned last year and really put it into action and see big improvements on the field that I really wasn't able to get last year, because it was still kind of a timid freshman year versus really coming into my own this sophomore year,” Hampsch said.
Hampsch’s passion for improving her craft is the key to her development and will give her the tools to be the perfect leader for the Duke team.
Every time she steps on the turf, she is ready to learn. With a full season coming shortly, Hampsch will have ample opportunities to put that learning spirit into action.
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