PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Simmons College women's soccer player Tasha Friedman (Phoenix, Ariz.) has been selected to compete for the Maccabi USA Open Women's Soccer Team at the 20th World Maccabiah Games, which will take place July 4-18 in Israel, it was announced recently by Maccabi USA Open Women's Soccer Chairman Marc Backal, along with Head Coach Wendi Whitman and Assistant Coach Catie Chase.
Maccabi USA will bring a team of 1,100-plus athletes who will join the 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports.
Friedman will join 19 other collegiate soccer players from schools such as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, University of California-Davis, Northwestern University, Saint Anselm College, Middlebury College, Quinnipiac University, Bucknell University, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, George Washington University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Cornell University, Drexel University, Boston University, Saint Louis University, University of San Francisco, Lafayette College and Mercy College on Team USA for the games, which take place every four years.
"Playing for Team USA is an honor and privilege," said Friedman. "I'm so happy to be able to represent my home, while playing soccer in Israel. It means the world to me that I have this opportunity."
Team USA captured the Gold Medal at the 19th games in 2013 and will begin training for its title defense in Israel on June 27.
Friedman, who graduated from Simmons in May, concluded her four-year career with the Sharks in the fall. She was named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Third Team as a defender. The center back started all 16 matches for Simmons and consistently took direct kicks for the Sharks with 15 shots, including 10 on frame. The senior was an integral part of a Simmons defense that allowed more than two goals just twice for the entire season.
A graduate of Arcadia High School, Friedman has been four-year starter for the Sharks, drawing a start in 55 of 61 career tilts, while collecting three points on a goal and an assist. The Communications/Media Arts major's intensity has also translated to the classroom, where she was recognized by the GNAC following last season with a spot on the All-Academic Team.
"Tasha has been a tremendous defender on our team for the past four seasons," said Simmons Head Women's Soccer Coach, Erica Schuling. "She is a ball winner and tackles hard. I am sure every opponent made note of her on the scouting report. She truly loves the game and I am so proud that she has earned an opportunity to compete on behalf of Team USA. We wish her and the team the best of luck in the Maccabiah games this summer."
Simmons finished the season with an 8-9-2 record, including 7-4-0 in GNAC play to earn the fifth seed in the conference tournament. The Sharks' season came to an end in the conference quarterfinals.
Since 1932, over 62,000 athletes have participated in the Maccabiah Games, in a celebration of Jewish Strength and Solidarity. Team USA's success is not only measured by the medals won, but by the impact that the Maccabiah experience had on their lives as well as the friendships they formed.