Athlete of the Week: Kendall Ham

Lauren Whelan, Sports Co-Editor

In her third year wearing Orange and Blue, Kendall Ham ’18 has hugely contributed to the success that the Bison women’s soccer team has found this season. Her success is widely recognized. After scoring the winning goal in the Bison’s match versus Army, Ham was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. Shortly after, Ham also earned the title of Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

“It’s a huge honor and one that I am very proud of. However, I feel as though it is a big reflection on my teammates and the program here at Bucknell as a whole. Everything that we have accomplished this season has helped bring recognition to the individual parts that make up this team. Needless to say, there wouldn’t be such an honor if it weren’t for all of them,” Ham said.

Ham becomes the fourth Bison in the program to earn the prestigious honor of Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, a unanimous decision across the league. As she moves into the latter part of her third season, she is certainly one of the more seasoned players on the field for the Orange and Blue. Her performances this year reflect this confidence and talent that has gotten her so far, with her recent winning goal serving as just one example of her ability to carry her team.

“My favorite part thus far has simply been being a member of such a hardworking group of women. Over the past three seasons, this team has become my family, and I couldn’t imagine Bucknell without them,” Ham said.

Ham admits that it was not always smooth sailing. The transition to college-level athletics was challenging.

“My greatest challenge was the adjustment to the college game. Going into freshman year, I was not accustomed to such a physical, high paced level of play. It took some time adjusting to these changes through lifting and conditioning. Having a twin sister who was going through similar struggles definitely helped me,” Ham said.

Ham’s twin, Jackie Ham ’18, also a member of the team, has made standout contributions to the team as well; this proves to be a testament to the sisters’ ability to support one another as they moved to college level play.

Despite the success Ham and her teammates have found on the pitch, they are determined to continue fighting as their season goes on.

“Our team goal is to win a Patriot League Championship. It has been a while since we have won a championship, and to win one here at Emmitt would be something very special. A championship would top off the very successful year we have had thus far,” Ham said.

Though her career has been admirable already, Ham still looks forward to having another season left on the field for the Bison.

“I am looking forward to seeing how as a senior class next year, we can build on the success that we have had the past two seasons. The past two seasons have been very successful, and I want to see what kind of lasting legacy my class can leave in our final year,” Ham said.

As her career continues, Ham can be assured that regardless of how the rest plays out, the impact she has already had on the program for the Bison can hardly go unnoticed.

Ham and her teammates will be back in action on Nov. 4 when they will face Lafayette on their home turf in the semi-final round of the Patriot League Tournament.

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