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Two-Sport Athlete Shaunice Palms Represents MCCC Vikings at National Women in Sports Day

2/13/18


Shaunice Palms with Coach Diamond at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day awards ceremony on Feb. 4.

Palms was a two-year goalkeeper for the Vikings.

Palms has been a valuable guard for the women's basketball team for the past two seasons.

West Windsor, N.J. – Two-sport athlete Shaunice Palms, of Hamilton, was selected as Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) representative for the National Association of Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS) Day. This annual awards ceremony, which honors athletes in the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), took place Feb. 4 at Seton Hall University, prior to a women’s basketball game.

Palms attended the ceremony with MCCC Women’s Soccer Coach Elyse Diamond, a teacher at Nottingham High School who has known Palms since she was a ninth grader at the school.

Palms has been a valued member of Mercer’s women’s soccer and basketball teams for the past two seasons and was a big contributor for both teams. She was the starting goalkeeper for the Vikings in 2016 and 2017, and has also been a two-season starter for the basketball team.

In her rookie soccer season as the Vikings’ goalkeeper in 2016, Palms was selected as GSAC Goalkeeper of the Week and NJCAA Division I Goalkeeper of the Week. She ended the season  third in the nation in shutouts, posting 10, and finished 24th in Division I women’s soccer with 107 saves in 17 games.  The Vikings went 13-3-1 in 2016.

Palms followed her freshman year with a stellar sophomore season in goal in 2017. She finished sixth in Division I in saves, with 145 saves in 15 games. She earned GSAC Goalkeeper of the Week honors after posting three shutouts during the week of Oct. 9-15. In the Vikings’ final game of the season, Palms had 12 saves in a 3-0 loss to Monroe, which was ranked third in the nation at the time.

Palms started every soccer game of her two-year career and Coach Diamond has been proud to see her blossom. “She is great young woman and a role model for her teammates,” Diamond said.

Diamond first coached Palms when she played freshman basketball at Nottingham. “Basketball was Shaunice's first love, but I encouraged her to come out for soccer. Following her junior year, she decided to take me up on that offer and was a goalie in her senior year. I am so grateful that she got the fundamentals before she left high school. And then I watched her progress when she came to Mercer. She has come a long way,” Diamond said.

Diamond notes that as a Mercer freshman, Palms hit it off beautifully with her sophomore teammates, especially fellow defender Kendal Parah.  “It was so nice to see how our sophomores took her under their wings.”

This year it was Palms’ turn to be a team leader and she embraced the challenge. “We had a tough season, but she had a great attitude,” Diamond said. “She never gave up. And she never got down on her teammates.”  Palms’ twin sister, Shaune, cheered her on at every game.

In the current 2017-2018 basketball season, which continues through late February, Palms has played in 18 of 19 games for the Vikings. She averages 9.1 rebounds per game, 8.2 points per game, and 2.5 assists per game. In 2016-17, Palms played in all 23 games for the Vikings, averaging 8.8 rebounds per game, 8.0 points per game and 1.9 assists per game.

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Mike Tenaglia echoed Diamond’s strong words of praise for Palms. “Shaunice is an outstanding young woman. She works hard to be successful.  She is dedicated to her teammates, and loyal to her friends and coaches. She has been a great pleasure to coach,” Tenaglia said.

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