By Kallie Gregg
Senior Liz Donovan of Nashua, New Hampshire is a double major in Communications and Computer Science, with emphases in web and graphic design She plays left back for the Simmons’ soccer team.
KG: How long have you been playing soccer? When did you decide you wanted to pursue it in college?
LD: I’ve been playing soccer since I was about five years old so pretty much for as long as I can remember. How I ended up playing here at Simmons is kind of funny. I had come to a couple of open houses and it was on my list of schools to apply to but the possibility of playing in college, even at the DIII level, wasn’t something I even knew was an option for me until I came to a camp here during the summer right before my senior year. It was a four day long camp where we stayed in the dorms and then played soccer all day over at Sweeney Field at Wentworth. It was run by the Simmons soccer coach, Erica Schuling, who was assisted by two current team members. I showed up just wanting to get some touches on the ball before my fall season and to see the school a little more up close. On the last day, Erica asked if I would want to come for an overnight in the fall to meet the team and attend a class. That really caught me off guard but it was the first time I thought about playing in college. As I got closer and closer to the end of my last high school season, I realized I wasn’t ready to be done playing just yet. I didn’t come to Simmons just because of soccer but it did play a role in my decision.
KG: What’s your favorite “soccer moment?”
LD: This isn’t really a moment, it’s more of a goofy fun fact but I’ve had the same model of cleats since the sixth or seventh grade. I found these pair of Puma cleats that fit like a dream and took almost nothing to break in so every year I’d buy the same ones in a different color. Puma eventually discontinued them so I started buying my size wherever I could find them. My dad would call me on the phone like “I found two pairs of your cleats in men’s size 7 on xyz website!” and I’d be like “yes, quick, get them!” There was a black and red pair, a blue and black pair, an orange and white pair of turf shoes, an orange and white pair of cleats, yellow and white, green and white, blue and white, etc. I was pretty stocked up for awhile and I played with a different pair last season (gasp! Oh no, not change!) but that was just so I could wear my very last pair this year for my collegiate senior season.
KG: Do you think you’ll keep playing in some capacity after you graduate?
LD: I want to. I’ve avoided the whole “I’m done playing the sport I love competitively” funk which I expected to have at the end of high school. I’d do anything to keep the good times rolling. Even if it’s just a rec league, I’d be happy.
KG: Could you walk us through your typical daily schedule? How do you find a good school/soccer/work/life balance?
LD: On my really busy days where I go from class to work to practice without a break, I pack all my stuff in the morning and carry around a bunch of bags all day. Simmons recently built a sports complex in Brighton so we have afternoon practices on our own field (I can’t say I miss getting up for 6 a.m. practice like I had my freshman/sophomore year even if it was right next door to res). I definitely find it difficult to juggle school, soccer, and being a regular human being. I make a lot of to-do lists. Running around kicking soccer balls for two hours a day helps with the stress of having too much to do most days.
KG: When you’re not at school, at work, or practicing, where in Boston could we find you?
LD: My favorite place around the city is the Arnold Arboretum in JP. I’m from New Hampshire so trees are one of the things I miss most about living in the city. You could probably also find me hammocking on the Riverway with a book or a friend.
KG: Do you have any idea of what you plan to do after graduation?
LD: Oh gosh kind of. I have some ideas but nothing definitive. I’ve been considering taking more classes in computer science whether that be on my own or in a graduate setting. I also really want to work though, see what the “real world” is like. Knowing me, I’ll probably find a way to do everything so I don’t have to choose. I’ll get back to you on that one.