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On Target

Hampton Is Jack-of-all-Trades for Archers

Josh Hampton has played goalie (above), midfield, sweeper and forward for the men's soccer team this season.
Josh Hampton has played goalie (above), midfield, sweeper and forward for the men's soccer team this season.

When Josh Hampton was awarded the Goaltender of the Year Award during his senior year of high school in Sikeston, Mo., it was only natural to presume he would perform in a similar role this year with St. Louis Community College.

However, the needs of his team have dictated otherwise.

After beginning the season as the Archers’ starting goalie, Hampton has utilized his versatility to produce in a number of roles. When the team had some of its most significant struggles defensively, Hampton was the best player able to stem the number of opposing shots on goal.

More recently, the Archers’ struggles have been more noticeable with the offensive unit. Again, it was Hampton who was called on to contribute. Since midseason, Hampton has played sweeper, midfielder and forward.

“Before Josh was a goalie, he was an all-conference centerback,” Archers head coach Dan O’Keefe said. “And he’s quicker than lightning. He’s really an active player. His skills aren’t quite as sharp right now because he hasn’t played it in a while, but he’s our most active player. “

It remains uncertain whether Hampton’s current role will stick, or if he will return to goaltender during his sophomore year at STLCC. O’Keefe anticipates that Hampton’s role will remain a fluid one into next year, where his abilities can once again match the team’s needs most effectively.

“I like it when he plays both ways, because our offense really improved with him this season,” O’Keefe said. “He’s just an athlete.”

For Hampton, the move was not exactly what he had anticipated, but quickly prepared himself both physically and mentally for the change in on-field role. While he still views himself as primarily a goaltender for the future, he didn’t hesitate to return to his roots as a center-back in the early years of high school.

“It was really a ‘team need’ thing,” Hampton said. “It took a bit of an adjustment, because I hadn’t played the field in so long.”

Prior to moving back to the field, Hampton had compiled a record of 0-5-1 in six starts in goal with a 3.19 goals-against average. However, much of that opponent production was due in part to a struggling defensive unit, one that was aided by the move of Hampton from between the pipes. Following the position change, Hampton helped the Archers to two shutouts while playing as the team’s sweeper. He has also picked up two shots on goal while playing midfield and forward.

“His determination during a game is what I want everyone else to play like,” O’Keefe said.