NEWBERRY —Catherine Somits joins Newberry College as the Wolves’ first field hockey coach.
Newberry College Director of Athletics Matt Finley has announced Somits hiring on Tuesday. Somits will start at the college on Jan. 22 to begin recruiting student-athletes for the Wolves’ first season this fall semester.
“I am excited and thrilled on behalf of Newberry College to welcome Catherine to our family,” Finley said. “I would like to thank the field hockey search committee for their diligence in the search process for our first field hockey coach at Newberry College in which we received over 30 applicants.”
“I’m sure there will be plenty of energy and excitement around this program as Catherine brings in all the necessary tools to be a successful head coach who will attract many top student-athletes from across the country. I look forward to working alongside Catherine as she will surely build a strong foundation and establish a first class field hockey program using the skills she has developed from her time spent at Villanova and Davidson.”
“I am beyond excited to become a part of the Newberry family,” Somits said. “The college as a whole is heading in a new and exciting direction, which makes this a perfect time to start a new program.
“I am so grateful to have this opportunity to spread field hockey in the south - it’s a way of giving back to the sport itself and all that it has done for me. With Matt Finley’s support, the support from the rest of the college and the support from the town of Newberry, I know we can make huge strides in these beginning stages to build a solid foundation to compete at a high level.”
Somits came to Newberry after serving for three seasons as the assistant coach at Davidson College. The Wildcats compiled a record of 34-30 in her three seasons in North Carolina and claimed the top spot in the NorPac Conference’s East Division for the first time in 2010.
Somits was also the site director and head coach for the Davidson site of the U.S. Futures program, where she hired staff, coordinated practices and chose high school candidates for the regional team. She earned her Level II Coaching Accreditation in June of 2011.
A native of West Chester, Pa., Somits spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Villanova, where she enjoyed a decorated playing career from 2004-07.
As a coach, Somits focused primarily on the defensive end while also handling compliance, travel, recruiting and summer camp responsibilities. During the 2008-09 academic year, she also worked in Villanova’s student services department, overseeing athletic events, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and organizing several fundraisers for charitable foundations.
Somits was recognized as Villanova’s Most Valuable Player following her senior season in 2007, during which she served as team captain. A defensive-minded player, Somits contributed from the start. She earned team Rookie of the Year honors and ultimately started all 77 games during her career at midfield. Somits tallied 14 goals and 11 assists for 39 points and aided ‘Nova to winning records each season as both a player and coach.
Somits graduated from Villanova in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and earned a Master of Science in sport management and business from Neumann University in June 2010.
She also gained coaching experience at Villa Maria Academy in 2008-09, where she served as an assistant varsity women’s lacrosse coach. Somits was a two-time US Lacrosse Women’s Division High School All-America at West Chester East High School, where she received several student-athlete accolades as a four-year member of both the varsity lacrosse and field hockey teams.
Somits has been very active in the community. She organized a 5K walk for the Each One Counts Foundation for terminally ill children and has volunteered for the National Marrow Donor Program and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Somits also competed for a Philadelphia-area semi-professional women’s lacrosse team.
About Newberry College Field Hockey
When the Wolves’ field hockey team kicks off the fall 2013 season, the scarlet and gray will be the 28th program in NCAA Division II and will be the southernmost field hockey team in all collegiate divisions.
Newberry is the second field hockey school in South Carolina after Limestone College in Gaffney, which began its program in 2009. Since Newberry’s announcement of the addition of field hockey in November, Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y., has also added the sport, bringing the Division II total to 29 teams in the 2013 season.
Newberry will play its home games at historic Setzler Field, the home of Newberry College football since 1922 and Newberry College women’s lacrosse since the spring of 2012.