Our Coaching Philosophy and Culture
Hammers Field Hockey believes in equal opportunity for each athlete to develop and play to the goals they set for themselves. We coach and teach players to be well-prepared for competition and to have fun enjoying their passion for the sport. Our culture is rooted in respect for all both on and off the courts and field. We believe in promoting the benefits of youth sports to carry over into all areas of our athletes' lives.
Hammers Field Hockey only hires coaches that align specifically with our Coaching Philosophy. Our coaches are players themselves and USAFH certified Level I or II . Most of them have competed collegiately at D1 and D3 colleges. Each of them has a passion for the sport and a desire to develop players and grow the game. We invite you to get to know them by reading about them below.
Hammers Travel Staff
Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft, Hammers Travel Commissioner & Recruiting Director
Ashley is a Level II USAFH and Head Field Hockey Coach at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. She was a full scholarship D1 player at Michigan State and helped MSU to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances and a Big Ten Championship. Ashley was an assistant coach for D3 powerhouse University of Rochester where they appeared in the 2012 NCAA Quarterfinals after spending a year as a graduate assistant in 2007 at her alma mater, MSU. She took the Head Coach position at Shenandoah in 2013. Her first year at SU she led the team to 10 overall wins and 6 ODAC victories setting a new program record. SU finished as runner-up in the ODAC in the regular season that year earning Coach Ashley ODAC Coach of the Year her first year! Two years later, Ashley coached the SU Hornets to 11 overall wins including a 9 game winning streak with 6 ODAC victories. The following year, she coached the team to their first ever ODAC Championship win earning her VaSID Coach of the Year along with a second ODAC coach of the year. Fun fact is Ashley grew up playing soccer for one of the most competitive clubs in the country and didn't begin playing field hockey until high school.
Kelsey Glass, U10 Rapids Head Coach
Kelsey is a Level II USAFH and VHSL certified coach. Kelsey is Head Field Hockey Varsity Coach at Stone Bridge High School after serving 2 years as the Assistant Varsity Field Hockey Coach. A local resident, Kelsey played varsity hockey at Robinson Secondary in Fairfax and played club hockey at the College of William & Mary. She is also a 1st grade teacher at Creighton's Corner in Ashburn.
Kelly is a Level II USAFH certified coach. Kelly coaches recreation and travel field hockey. She has been playing field hockey since the 7th grade beginning with a grassroots start in middle school in Virginia Beach. She continued playing in high school and club at George Mason University. Her focus is developing core fundamental skills in younger players so they can be successful in ascending the ranks. When not coaching, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family and rescuing homeless animals.
Meg Dudek, U10-U14 Hammers Head Age Group Coach, U12 Head Coach, PFH/Hammers Founder
Meg is a Level II USAFH and VHSL certified coach. She helms the Broad Run Field Hockey team. Meg was named 2016 & 2017 Conference 14 Coach of the Year. She has been coaching travel teams of all ages since founding the club in 2011. Meg led the 2015 U12 team to win a gold medal in their pool at the National Indoor Tournament. Fun fact is the 2015 U12 team won a medal at every tournament they played in that year. The National Field Hockey Coaches Association awarded her the 2014 Junior Field Hockey award for all of her hard work in bringing and growing field hockey in Loudoun County. Meg is also a Region 8 USA FH Head Futures Coach. She enjoys coaching because she loves to see the players and their confidence grow both as field hockey players and people. You can often find her volunteer coaching a 7/8 PFH Rec team every spring.
Christy Gaitten, Evolution Coach
Christy played D1 field hockey at Syracuse University where she was a 2 time All-American and participated in the Olympic Developmental Program. She coached summer programs throughout college and became an assistant coach at Vassar College in New York after graduation. Christy continued to play for a local club after she relocated to the DC area for work quitting only after her daughter was born. Christy is married and lives in Sterling. Her son is a sophomore at Dominion High School and her daughter is an 8th grader at Seneca Ridge MS. Christy loves field hockey!
Brooke Slonin, U12 Hammers Coach
Brooke is a Level II USAFH and VHSL certified coach. Brooke currently works as a PE teacher at McLean High School where she was previously the Varsity Field Hockey Coach for 3 years. Brooke was a four year starter at the D1 Ohio University Bobcats from 2008-2012 and helped lead the team to the NCAA Championships in 2011. She served as captain and was a two-time National Field Hockey Associations D1 Academic Squad Selection. Brooke scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Bobcats in the 2011 MAC Championship. The Bobcats were MAC Champions twice during Brooke's four year tenure with the team. After graduating, she served as a post-grad assistant coach at Ohio for head coach Neil MacMillan. Brooke came to Virginia after 2 years in OH where she worked at Hathaway Brown High School as a PE teacher and Varsity Field Hockey Coach. She led the team to a winning 12-5 season while she was there coaching 7 players to to recognition as All Region selections.
Caroline Fletcher, U14 Hammers Head Coach
Caroline is a Level I USAFH and VHSL certified coach. Caroline is in her third year as the Varsity Field Hockey Coach at John Champe High School and is a third grade teacher at Goshen Post Elementary School. She grew up in Richmond playing club field hockey for Panthers. She was a defender on D3 Bridgewater College's field hockey team in VA where she also played on their lacrosse team. She enjoys running and spending time outdoors with her family and friends.
Garrett Broady, Rapids Performance & Conditioning Coach
Garrett has an ACSM certification. Garrett started our performance and conditioning program in November 2015 after we had several players with overuse injuries. Garrett quickly won over our coaches, players and parents and we are happy to say that we have not had any overuse injuries since he joined us. Garrett is passionate about working hard for our players and can at times be found at area high school field hockey games watching how they do. He is currently the Head Performance Coach at Onyx Elite in Reston, VA. His wife is a PE teacher in Fairfax County and they have 2 awesome children.