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The Simmons soccer team traveled to Barcelona during spring break for the chance to compete and train internationally while also experiencing Spanish culture.

The trip was led by Head Soccer Coach Erica Mastrogiacomo and Assistant Coach Caitlin Schimmel, who took the team to Spain for the once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Spanish coach Pere Garcia, who taught the women the "Spanish style" of soccer. We asked Team Captains Justine Beauchamp '13 and Ashley Wheeler '12, and midfielder Jennie Holloway '14 to explain more.

What was it like to train and compete in a country such as Spain?
Ashley: It was a great experience, but challenging at times because we had no way of communicating with the other team or the referees. What I really loved, though, was listening to the Coach we trained with talk about the game of soccer. In Spain, soccer is not just a sport, but a lifestyle and an art. They live for the game and that is something we have never seen in the States with soccer.

Justine: It was nerve-racking, exciting, challenging, and overall very worthwhile. When training with Coach Pere, we were taught that they play the ball quick and carefully, and that movement off the ball is more important than movement with the ball. Our favorite quote from Pere was that "the ball is a jewel," and you should be sure not to "give it away as a gift."

Jennie: The game of soccer in Spain is more than a game, it is part of their culture. This is not the case in America, so going to play this cherished sport in the wonderful country of Spain was an honor, but also intimidating. It was fun to see how the game was played there and to have the opportunity to learn from and play with Spanish players.

Continue reading Simmons soccer team spends spring break training in Barcelona.

Simmons Volleyball

The Simmons Sharks supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month by raising money for the American Cancer Society during the month of October. Volleyball, Field Hockey, and Soccer held "Think Pink" games. Players wore pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and volunteers collected donations.

thinkpink2.jpgThe Volleyball team's "Think Pink" game was Tuesday, October 18 against Emmanuel College and the players raised $164 for breast cancer research. In total, the "Think Pink" games raised $774 for The American Cancer Society. Although the game was a loss for Simmons, it was a win for the battle against breast cancer.

Despite Tuesday's upset, the Volleyball team is having a strong season. With an overall record of 17 - 8 and an in conference record of 7 - 3, the Sharks are well positioned to make the Greater Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament. New head coach Alesia Vaccari says as long as the ladies give 100% they're bound for success.

"Someone once told me that practices are for the coach and games are for the players, and I have really tried to own that. You know, just let the girls play. We just have to give 100%, and when we give 100% we are successful."

Continue reading Simmons athletics supports breast cancer awareness.

After the departure of longtime basketball coach Tony Price, the Simmons Sharks welcome professional basketball star Kristen Rasmussen Tarr as the new head coach for the 2011-12 season. Coach Rasmussen Tarr was the first player from Michigan State University to play in the Women's National Basketball Association after being drafted in the fourth round in 2000.

During her professional career, Coach Rasmussen Tarr played for eight teams and started for five. It was with the Phoenix Mercury that she led in field goal percentage (51.2%), rebounding (136) and blocks (27), and marked a single game high of five made 3-point shots. She tallied 82.5% in career free throw percentage.

While at MSU, Coach Rassmussen Tarr was a four-year starter and three-year captain for the Spartans, and she helped lead her team to several NCAA and NIT Championship appearances. She is the No. 2 all-time shot blocker and No. 9 all-time scorer (1035 points). As a senior, she was voted team MVP, and was nominated for the NCAA Outstanding Sportsperson of the Year.

Director of Athletics Ali Kantor is optimistic about Coach Rasmussen Tarr leading the Sharks:

Kristen is a world class professional basketball player and I am truly excited to have Kristen join our staff. She brings a wealth of basketball knowledge from the highest level possible. She is a proven leader who demonstrates passion and a love of the game, a competitive drive and a will to win. In addition, she demonstrates a compassion for teaching and women's athletics. I have no doubt Kristen will lead Simmons basketball to success.

For more news, game scores, and schedules, visit the Athletics website and like Simmons College Athletics on Facebook.

Find out more about the advantages of athletics at a Division III women's college.

The Simmons lacrosse team finished out the regular season on Saturday with a 17-7 win over Emmanuel College. The Sharks will take on Mount Ida tonight (Wednesday, April 27) on their home turf in the first round of the GNAC playoffs.

Although the lacrosse team is just in its third year of existence, Captain Jen Skoltz says she has witnessed tremendous growth.

"Over the last three years we've grown so much as a team. We've really made a huge impact in our conference. We've won huge games over the past two years. So, I think right now we have a lot of intensity both in and out of conference. As long as we keep this up, I think the rest of the season will go just as well."

To stay informed on how the Sharks do in this year's GNAC playoffs, like Simmons athletics on Facebook, and visit the website for news updates.

Simmons Softball

With a 15-3 in conference record, the Simmons softball team looks for their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship. The Sharks have six regular season games left before beginning the GNAC playoffs on Friday, April 29.

They will most likely enter the playoffs as the third seed and get a first round bye to automatically advance to the double-elimination tournament. Head Coach Anne Hennigan talks about how the program has grown since she took over in 2009.

"I think we are seeing more competitive athletes who come in and are talented and are ready to make an impact as soon as they enter the program. That has added a lot. It makes the returning players work even harder and makes for an overall competitive, strong team."

Continue reading Sharks battle for GNAC championship.

Many children grew up playing sports. Parents drove to soccer practice on Mondays, softball on Tuesdays, gymnastics on Thursdays; not to mention the afternoon games of basketball with the neighborhood kids. For some, athletics is a major part of growing up.

But, let's face it. Most of us do not turn into professional athletes. Even most students who are good enough to get scholarships to Division I and II schools, don't make it to the pro's. Division III schools give athletes the opportunity to continue their athletic careers while attending great academic programs that prepare them for their future.

Being an all women's undergraduate college, Simmons female athletes are top priority. Jessica Thomas '12, a member of the Simmons basketball team, talked about the advantages of not having a men's team.

Continue reading Athletics at a Division III college.

The Sharks swam to their seventh Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship this weekend against what head coach, Mindy Williams, said was their toughest competition yet.

"We have won GNACs for the seventh year in a row. This past weekend was undoubtedly the most competition we've seen at that meet. Last year, Simmons ran away with it, but this year we really had to work for it. We put it onto the athletes to put everything into the meet, and they really responded to the atmosphere."

Continue reading Swimming & diving team wins GNAC championship.


The Republican Journal, a newspaper covering Waldo County in Maine, has an article about two of Simmons' top field hockey players who used to be fierce rivals at competing high schools.

Renna Smith '14 attended Belfast Area High School and Monica Doucette '14 attended Camden Hills Regional High.

Anyone here from Maine who can attest to the rivalry?

After successful high school field hockey careers, both decided to put their competition aside and play for the Sharks. As teammates, the two women joined forces to make an immediate impact on the team.

When asked about her decision to play at Simmons, Renna said:

"It made my transition from high school to college way easier and way better than people that didn't play a sport," said Smith. "From the second I stepped onto campus at Simmons College I had 20 automatic friends, most of which were upperclassmen and had already been to Simmons for one or two years. I had a coach, an assistant coach, an athletic director and an athletic trainer that I could go to if I needed something. So there was that support system that I already had that a lot of girls didn't already have."

That kind of support came in handy when she was unexpectedly asked to be the team's goalie -- a position she had never played!

Read more about Renna, Monica, and Simmons' field hockey team in Swimming with Sharks: Smith, Doucette excel at Simmons.

(Photo courtesy of Monica Doucette via Village Soup)

A special congratulations goes out to alumna Nikki Cohen '08! The former member of the Simmons basketball team has signed a contract to play professional basketball for the Israeli team Hapoel Be'er Tuviya. Nikki is the first Simmons graduate ever to play pro basketball overseas! Not surprising, considering she is quite a globetrotter.

After graduating from Simmons, Nikki lived in Barcelona, where she played for an amateur basketball league with a Bolivian team. She then moved to Israel as part of a five-month volunteer program to teach English at a local high school in Ashdod. Needless to say, it wasn't long after arriving in Israel that she got in touch with Maccabi Ashdod, Ashdod's professional basketball team.

Read more about Nikki's journey to the pros.

The Simmons crew team finished 16th in the Women's Collegiate Eight at the Charles River Regatta last weekend, overtaking rowing teams from Wesleyan, Colby, and Tufts. It is the highest placing and fastest time in this event for Simmons. The Sharks placed 23rd in the Collegiate Four.

Head coach Nik Kurmakov talked about the importance of this regatta for the team:

For us, [The Charles River Regatta] is preparation for the spring. So, we can figure out who we'll compete against in the spring season from other Division III schools before the NCAA qualification regatta.

The team finished their fall season this weekend, placing second at the Seven Sisters Regatta on the Connecticut River. Coming in just behind Wellesley College, Simmons beat out Smith College, Mount Holyoke, and Bryn Mawr College.

The Sharks will return for the spring season on March 10 in Melbourne, Florida. After the enormous success during the fall, we are very excited to see how the rest of the year goes.

Wondering what a Simmons athletic career could offer you? How about a chance to play a competitive sport for four years, while still having the opportunity to achieve everything you want to academically?

Simmons athletes are looked up to on campus. Being an all women's college means female sports teams don't have to take a back seat to men's athletics, as is with most colleges and universities. There is a certain camaraderie that comes with being a Shark. Each team is committed to supporting their fellow athletes during games, matches, and meets.

Continue reading See what it's like to be a Simmons Shark.

Simmons athletics is having a great fall season! But, Simmons tennis is doing exceedingly well. They are aiming to win their third consecutive GNAC championship, which will enter them in the NCAA tournament for the spring. They are 11-4 overall and undefeated in the conference.

Being the number one seed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference allowed them a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Simmons will play Johnson and Wales tomorrow at 10 a.m. on the Windsor courts.

Continue reading Simmons tennis goes for third consecutive championship.


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