Emily Layton arrived at the UMass Amherst campus last month with one goal in mind. After being a key contributor to Monomoy’s field hockey team as a freshman last fall, Layton was excited to represent her hometown of Harwich and her school at College Connection’s Northeast Showcase held at UMass from June 10-12.
Still, Layton wanted more. She wanted a Golden Ticket.
By the end of the three-day field hockey showcase, after collecting a tournament win with her camp teammates, Layton earned that coveted Golden Ticket which gave her a spot in the Under Armour Select Game held July 19 at Boston College.
She was one of 60 field hockey players from around the country who received a Golden Ticket and an invite to play in the Select Game.
Although Layton’s Team Australia suffered an 8-1 loss to Team Germany in its Select Game, the rising Monomoy sophomore netted the squad’s lone goal, providing a final lasting memory that she’ll forever cherish.
“It was super exciting getting the Golden Ticket because going into the weekend at UMass, that was my goal,” Layton said. “It was super exciting to achieve that and then when we started playing it seemed so surreal, and when I scored the goal it was pure excitement.”
Layton said there were approximately 300 participants at the UMass camp, which covered the Northeast region. College Connection also held showcases in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, where field hockey players from other states had the same opportunity Layton did to display their skills in front of college coaches from around the nation.
Her team at BC was comprised of 14 girls representing the graduating classes of 2024 through 2026. A few of her teammates were fellow Bay Staters.
“When we did the introductions, everyone said where they were from and I think there were maybe five girls of the 14 that were from Massachusetts and the rest were from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Kentucky and California, I believe,” Layton said.
The showcase took place in extreme heat which forced organizers to alter the plans a bit. Instead of playing three 30-minute periods, the four showcase teams each played one game that featured six 15-minute periods.
“It was so hot and there was a heat advisory in Boston that day, so they split it up more,” Layton explained.
The fun extended beyond the field, too. The night before the showcase, all of the players were invited to Under Armour’s brand house at the Prudential Center in Boston, where the players were given a discount and gifted some new gear.
“There was a DJ and they gave us an Under Armour product pack, which had all of the latest gear,” Layton said. “It was awesome and I’m so grateful for that.”
More surprises awaited once the players arrived at BC.
“You walked into BC field hockey’s hut, which is like their locker rooms and training rooms and stuff, and they had backpacks lined up on all of the chairs with jerseys and warm-up T-shirts and socks and a customized bag and bag tag,” Layton said.
The experiences at UMass and BC provided Layton with exposure to many college coaches from around the country. Her Team Australia squad was coached by Babson field hockey coach Julie Ryan, the winningest coach in Babson program history.
Although Layton said she ultimately hopes to play college field hockey at the Division I level, she’s also excited to return to Monomoy following the Sharks’ loss to Ipswich in the Division 4 state semifinals.
She said her summer experiences will help her feel even more confident when Monomoy’s season starts.
“It’s definitely a big confidence boost going into preseason and the high school season,” Layton said. “It was really exciting and I have a lot of support from my high school teammates, which is awesome.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org.