Husky History No. 9: Sophie Hamilton

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Sophie Hamilton. Artwork by Anna Iorfino/The Daily Campus.

Hello all, and welcome back to Husky History, a new column focusing on one accomplished UConn athlete per week. Each article should detail the athlete’s accolades at Connecticut, as well as their ability to take their games to the professional level. 

This week’s Husky History focuses on field hockey legend Sophie Hamilton. While her time in Storrs was cut short due to professional aspirations, she has been able to leave her mark on the UConn program and field hockey beyond the collegiate level. 

Writer’s note: Keep in mind that in England, field hockey is sometimes shortened to hockey. 

Born to parents Emma and Stuart, Hamilton grew up in Bruton, Somerset, England alongside her twin sister Olivia. The future Husky was a natural athlete, excelling in tennis and cross country early on. She was a nationally identified junior tennis player and also was a regional junior cross country champion, but her (and her sister’s) true passion was field hockey. Hamilton rose up the ranks at a young age, representing England from U-16 all the way to U-21, earning bronze in 2018 at the EuroHockey Junior Championships playing U-18 hockey. 

Alongside playing internationally, Hamilton played at the club level, helping out organizations like Clifton Robinsons Hockey Club and Team Bath Buccaneers Hockey Club. At this point, she decided to take her talents overseas, joining the University of Connecticut for the 2019 season. 

By the time Hamilton made her way to Storrs, she already had quite the resume. To no surprise, that hard-earned pedigree translated very well to the collegiate game, even to a top-tier program like UConn, still fresh off of their 2017 National Championship. When she got to the team in 2019, Hamilton made an impact from the jump, starting all 23 games for the Huskies that year. She ranked second on the team in goals, assists, and points, earning her a nomination to the All-Big East First Team, one of two freshmen to receive the honor. For her early efforts, she was named a Third Team All-American. The team found more success as well. The Huskies saw yet another Big East Championship and made it to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament thanks to a game-winning overtime goal from Hamilton’s stick. 

While the Fall 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton picked up right where she left off in the Spring of 2021. In her sophomore year, the young star earned almost every award she qualified for, taking home First Team All-American and NFHCA Regional Player of the Year honors. Hamilton took home the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and was also a finalist for the Honda Sports Award, an honor bestowed upon the top player in college field hockey.  

The team had a near-repeat of the season prior, taking home the Big East Championship, this time with Hamilton earning Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She had some big scores in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, putting up two goals in the team’s 5-0 win over Rider. The Huskies fell to No. 3 Louisville in the next round. Statistically, Hamilton was among the best in the country, leading UConn with 19 goals, 15 assists and 53 points. 

After a successful two years dominating the collegiate level, it was time for Hamilton to take her talents to the next level. Soon after the Spring 2021 season, the young star signed with Surbiton HC, one of the most historic and dominant clubs in the Women’s England Hockey League.  

“I am looking forward to joining Surbiton and I’m really excited about the opportunity to play for a club that has challenged at the top of the Premier League for so many years,” Hamilton said upon her signing with the club. 

With Hamilton’s help, the squad won their eighth straight league championship and currently are at the top of the table in the league’s young season. 

The former Husky also is still quite active in international play, earning 30 total appearances representing both England and Great Britain as of June 27, 2021. She represents her native country of England alongside her twin sister in the culmination of their combined work towards their craft. The pair will look to help their team qualify and compete at least through the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. 

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