Rachel Pike signs letter of intent to play soccer at Hamilton College

“Today we get the opportunity to celebrate someone who is beloved here at our school — not just a great athlete and great student, but also great friend to all of us in the room, I’m sure, and those beyond: Rachel Pike,” Athletic Director Denny Lennon said at the beginning of senior Rachel Pike’s press conference.

Above are some fast facts about Pike’s soccer history.

On Feb. 1, Pike signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.

“I am extremely overwhelmed, but I could not be more happy,” Pike said. “Just looking out and seeing all my friends and teachers here, I am feeling an overwhelming about of love. I have been dreaming about this day for so long. It doesn’t feel real, but I am extremely happy.”

Over the summer, Pike made her decision. She was deciding between two schools to play college soccer at, but ultimately picked Hamilton.

“The primary reason I chose Hamilton was because it felt so much like Archer,” she said during a video from JDMediaGroupTV. “I was looking at a lot of small liberal arts on the east coast, and when I went to campus it felt like the community I have here. That emotional connection is what ultimately helped me pick it.”

Pike posing before a soccer game when she was five years old. Pike has been playing soccer since she was three. Photo courtesy of Pike.

Pike has been playing soccer since she was three.

“It feels amazing. I am really lucky that I am going to be able to take something that I love here [at Archer] with me [to college],” Pike said.

Hamilton is a Division III school and competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. 

“I wanted Division III. Most Division III schools have a good balance of academics and athletics. I knew I wanted a small school. I really like that element at Archer,” Pike said. “They also don’t have any requirements for classes, so I can explore a bunch of things and be able to find my passion.”

At Archer, Pike is a three-sport athlete. She runs cross country, is a soccer goalie and plays softball.

“She has taken on other sports to hone her skills for soccer,” fitness and wellness teacher and Pike’s soccer and cross country coach Amelia Mathis wrote in an email interview. “Cross Country has helped with her fitness and endurance while challenging herself to be strong mentally. In softball, this has definitely helped her with her hand eye contact, but also allowing her to have fun and be with her teammates and show school spirit, which is what she is all about!”

At Hamilton, Pike will play as a soccer goalie.

Photo by Nelly Rouzroch
Pike poses with the 2016-2017 varsity soccer team. She will continue to play soccer in the fall.

“I wanted to continue with soccer because I am the best at it, but it really has been the one that has been with me through my whole life,” she said.

When it comes to playing soccer, Pike has many supporters.

“My parents, they’ve been with me throughout all of my sports, all of my injuries and my complaining,” Pike said. “To have them sitting here [at the conference] now is really special. I know it means a lot to me that they’ve been so supportive, and I am going to miss them a lot next year when I am far away.”

A common theme that many recalled during the press conference was Pike’s enthusiasm.

“From academics, to social to athletics she is always bringing the enthusiasm,” Lennon said.

Head varsity soccer coach and guide for students to play athletics in college Kim Smith wrote, “Every once in a while a coach gets the opportunity to work with an athlete like Rachel Pike. It is an absolute gift. Rachel is someone who examples high standards and brings out the best in those around her. She has a unique energy that has the power to motivate, inspire, and bring positive change. Hamilton has struck gold with this young athlete and student.

From left to right, seniors Zoe Pelikan, Rachel Pike, Seana Duffy-Reddy and Alex Sherman pose for a photo after Pike signed her National Letter of Intent. Pike is the fourth person in Archer history to continue playing soccer for a college. Photo courtesy of Duffy-Reddy

Head of School Elizabeth English echoed the coaches’ praises, describing Pike as “a fundamental joyful and loving person and shows that every day at school.”

“In tough situations, you can either be positive or negative about it. The only way to get out of those situations are to be positive, and I’ve learned that the hard way,” Pike said. “I’m not always super happy all the time, but I have learned that if you’re happy and supporting other people, they will do the same to you, and you will grow.”

Her coaches have been able to see Pike grow on and off the field.

Mathis has been coaching Pike since she was a freshman for soccer, and was her coach for cross country.

“She is someone who wants to push herself and those around her. She is always striving for greatness and uses feedback to execute the next time,” Mathis wrote.

Smith wrote, “Rachel Pike earned this signing day moment. She has spent countless hours honing her skills as a goalkeeper, as an athlete, as a teammate, a leader, an Archer student.  It is through this hard work that earned her a spot on the Hamilton Roster.”

Mathis was in attendance for Pike’s signing.

“I could not help but smile and feel like I did my job as well. Looking back I could see a piece of myself in Rachel as I was in that spot 9 years ago,” Mathis wrote. “I am so happy for her and I know that she will do big things because she is a world-class athlete with a huge heart.”

“We produce good human beings first, and great athletes second,” English said.  “And Rachel, you are that.”