On Monday afternoon, St. Michael senior Caroline Simpson signed her college letter of intent to play soccer for Centenary College in Louisiana.
Simpson’s earliest memories of the sport begin at age nine when she started playing for a rec team with some of her friends. Shortly after that, she moved up to a more competitive league, again, because she wanted to continue playing with her friend group. “When my best friend, Clara, decided that she wanted to do competitive soccer, that is when I thought ‘I guess I will give this a try’ and I loved it,” shares Simpson.
Since then, Simpson has continued to play for the Baton Rouge Soccer Club and is currently a member of the Black Team, the league’s highest-ranking group. She even credits one of her early coaches through the league for upping her skill level as a center back. “Coach Roger – he coached me in middle school on my club team – had so much passion. Even though he was always yelling at us on the field, I felt like I gravitated toward that energy. He also showed me the different aspects of playing center back since he played that position as well. He taught me how to be vocal and loud on the field.”
As a center back, Simpson must be one of the most vocal and dominate members of the team. “I have the best position on the field,” she mentions smiling. “From where I am stationed, I see the majority of the field throughout the game and I am responsible for moving people around. I have to be loud and tell my teammates who to mark.”
Simpson’s abilities were soon made clear as soon as she stepped on the field as a high school freshman at St. Michael. During her freshman year she not only qualified as an All-District player but was also named the District Defensive MVP. As a senior, she is a three-time All-District player, three-time All-Metro player, and two-time All-State qualifier. SMHS Head Coach Philip Silverman, says Simpson has set herself apart as a leader from day one. “You can teach someone to strike a ball, but you cannot teach desire,” he says. “It is Caroline’s heart that separates her from average players; the willingness to do whatever it takes, the courage to stand for what is right, and the confidence to execute her vision that truly makes her a special player.”
While at Centenary, Simpson plans to major in pre-med and become a forensic pathologist. This interest stems from her time as an intern with the Coroner’s Office last summer. She says she most looks forward to taking advantage of the travel abroad program that Centenary offers. “Each May, certain professors travel to different parts of the world. Plus, included in tuition, freshman have the option of taking a trip to Paris the first couple weeks of school. I plan to take advantage of the traveling as much as I can,” she says excitedly.