Athletes of the Week

Kat Armstrong

Once a nationally-competing gymnast, Kat Armstrong had to reevaluate her passions after an ankle injury rendered her unlikely to be the next Simone Biles. Rather than give up on sports altogether, she turned her athletic attentions elsewhere: soccer. Armstrong had played the game as a child, and decided to return to it “for fun” and “as a backup plan,” however, the game elsewhere known as football quickly became so much more than just plan B. A California native, Armstrong considered a few schools on both coasts, yet was drawn to Hamline by the prospect of more playing time and by her friendly teammates-to-be. “She came in and really fought for a starting spot,” coach Emily Cripe said of the freshman goalkeeper. “Since [the beginning of the season] we’ve had injuries with goalies and she’s stepped up.” It’s certainly a blessing that she has, considering the Pipers trounced rival school St. Thomas (who were previously ranked 21st in the nation) 3-1 on September 20. Despite her promising future, Armstrong is still unsure about involvement with soccer after graduation. While she could see herself being a coach, she’s mainly focused right now on pursuing an exercise science major – after all, she’s still got four more years to decide.


Dean Isaacson

A junior goalkeeper, marketing major Dean Isaacson started playing soccer in kindergarten “when everybody else did because their parents signed them up”, he says with a laugh. By third grade he decided to pursue football instead, but he found his way back to his childhood sport after being discouraged by a less-than-stellar experience with football in middle school. Ever since eighth grade, he’s stuck with soccer. This season will be Isaacson’s fifth consecutive as a goalie, as he started playing the position as a high school junior. His coach at St. Paul Academy caught sight of his defense skills and recommended him to Hamline coach Alex Morawiecki, and while Isaacson had considered other area schools, he ultimately decided to make Hamline home based on its business school and sports management major, which he initially wanted to pursue before deciding on marketing. “He’s come a long way,” Morawiecki said of Isaacson, and extolled the junior as “a superb athlete.” no wonder, considering Isaacson was able to make six saves at a match with Carleton on September 16 five of which occurred in the game’s later half, preventing the 1-0 score from becoming a tie.