The NGHL is thrilled to be working with a dedicated and knowledgeable staff for our CT NCAA Exposure Camp. These current NCAA coaches run skills training, coach games, and lead seminars on recruitment and other helpful topics for the athletes.


Katie Zimmerman, Western New England University


Eliza Kelley, Worcester State

Cassie Sherman

Cassandra Sherman, University of New England


Maddy Santore, Johnson & Wales

Abbie Ives

Abbie Ives, Sacred Heart University


Taylor Ham, Connecticut College


Vika Simons,  Albertus Magnus College


Coaching Career  Katie Zimmerman was named head coach of the Western New England University women's ice hockey program on June 12, 2019, and is the first head coach in program history.  

Zimmerman comes to Western New England following five seasons as an assistant coach at Amherst College, where she helped lead the Mammoths to a record of 82-34-18 (.679). The 2015-16 Amherst squad enjoyed its most successful regular season in program history, going 20-1-3 en route to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinals.

Prior to her time in Amherst, Zimmerman broke into the coaching profession as an assistant at SUNY Cortland in 2013-14. Additionally, she has held various roles with USA Hockey, including National Camp Head Coach, Intern, and District Evaluator/Coach.

Playing Career   Zimmerman, a 2013 graduate of Hamilton College, was a standout performer during her four-year career with the Continentals. The Plymouth, Michigan native was a two-time All-NESCAC selection, leading the conference in goals in both her junior and senior seasons. Zimmerman also earned All-East Region accolades at the conclusion of her final collegiate campaign.

After earning her undergraduate degree in Communications from Hamilton, Zimmerman went on to receive a master's degree in Coaching Education from Ohio University in 2016.


Eliza Kelley is the first head coach in Worcester State women’s ice hockey history in March 2021. The new team began its inaugural season in the fall of 2021. Kelley led the Lancers to a 32-14-4 overall record in the program's first two seasons. 

Prior to leading the Lancers, Kelley spent seven seasons as the head coach for the Becker College Hawks. She was the first coach at Becker College when they launched their women’s ice hockey program. In her time at Becker, Kelley showed an ability to recruit talented players and build a competitive program. 

Prior to her time at Becker, Kelley spent four years as a full-time assistant for her alma mater, Utica College. During her time on the bench, she helped guide the Pioneers to a 56-43-6 overall record.

Kelley played three seasons for Utica prior to coaching. In her time as a player, she was selected to the ECAC Women’s West All-Academic Team. In her senior year, Kelley became an assistant coach for the Pioneers.


Cassandra Sherman was named as the third head coach in the history of UNE women's ice hockey in August 2023.

Most recently, Sherman was in Florida serving as coach of multiple teams within the Tampa Jr. Lightning club organization and was the Co-Director of Youth Hockey at the Palm Beach Skate Zone prior to that.

No stranger to the Maine ice hockey scene, Sherman spent four seasons (2017-21) as an assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of Southern Maine. The Huskies increased overall and New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) win totals during each full campaign, including a 12-13-2 mark (9-7-0 NEHC) in 2019-20 that ended in the semifinals of the league postseason championship. 

In the year after graduating from USM (2016-17), she played professionally for Dusseldorf in Germany's top women's hockey league and helped the squad to the division title, totaling seven goals and nine assists over 13 contests. Sherman returned stateside in 2017-18 and played for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women's Hockey League -- North America's top level, at the time.

The North Smithfield, R.I. native earned a bachelor's degree in recreation and leisure studies.


Madelena ‘Maddy’ Santore took over the coaching reins of the Johnson & Wales (RI) University women’s ice hockey program prior to the 2022-23 season.

In her first season behind the bench for the Wildcats in 2022-23, Santore guided a squad with only two seniors back to the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) playoffs. Following that season, freshman Allyson Barry was named to the NEHC All-Rookie Team.

Santore arrived at JWU following four years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. During her time with the Purple Knights, Santore assisted with all practice and game planning, along with recruiting, scouting, and academic support for student-athletes. Santore helped the Purple Knights earn three New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) playoff berths, including an appearance in the semifinals in 2018-19, when the team posted its highest win total in 11 seasons.

While at SMC, Santore was one of 36 coaches and administrators from across the country chosen to attend the 2020-21 NCAA Leadership Academy Workshop. She worked alongside Saint Michael's administrators to bring a leadership program for student-athletes to life on their campus. She also coached with Light the Lamp Hockey in South Burlington, Vt., creating and executing skill-based clinics for youth hockey players in the area, as well as supervising off-ice instruction for summer camp sessions.

Santore began her collegiate playing career as a member of the club ice hockey team at Rutgers University, where she spent two seasons (2008-10) before transferring to Saint Michael’s. The Millington, New Jersey native made the Dean’s List all four semesters while ‘On the Banks’ while earning Delaware Valley College Hockey Conference (DVCHC) MVP honors in 2009-10. Santore also received the Rutgers Academic Excellence Award.

At Saint Michael’s, Santore collected 50 points in 62 career outings (32-18-50), earning Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East All-Rookie Team laurels in 2010-11. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts after majoring in both English and Political Science. Santore – who minored in media studies, journalism, and digital arts at SMC – later earned her Master of Library and Information Science in December, 2016.


Ives was appointed to Thomas O'Malley's staff on July 12, 2023, joining the Pioneers as an assistant coach, bringing three years of professional and four years of collegiate playing experience with her to the bench.

No stranger to Nutmeg State, Ives spent the last three seasons playing for the Connecticut Whale of the National Women's Hockey League and the Premier Hockey Federation. Over 33 professional games in net, she posted a .903 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against average, to go with a 22-10-0 record and three shutouts. Ives backstopped the Whale to an appearance in the 2022 Isobel Cup Final.
Prior to her professional career, Ives spent four seasons tending the crease just up the Merritt Parkway at Quinnipiac. When she graduated, she ranked third all-time in program history with 14 shutouts. Across 102 career games with the Bobcats, Ives posted a .925 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average, on the way to a 46-41-13 record. She was named the team's MVP as a senior.


Taylor Ham just finished her first season as assistant coach of Connecticut College women’s ice hockey. The Camels finished the 2022-2023 season at 12-12-1, placing 5th in the NESCAC. The group had one second-team all-conference player, one all-sportsmanship player, and saw twelve girls land on the winter all-NESCAC academic team.

Ham is a 2022 graduate of Manhattanville College. Taylor transferred to Manhattanville from Saint Anselm College after her sophomore year. In her three seasons with the Valiants, Taylor amassed 49 career points in 57 games played, was a two-year captain, and played for the UCHC trophy in two out of her three years. She also was a Krampade/AHCA All-American scholar as well as serving on SAAC (student-athlete advisory committee). 
During her time as a collegiate student-athlete, Taylor worked at Rye Country Day School helping coach their hockey programs. She also ran clinics and practices for the New York Rangers girls’ development program


Vika Simons was named as the first Assistant Women's Ice Hockey Coach for the Albertus Magnus College women's ice hockey program, which debuted in Fall 2023.

Simons was most recently the assistant women's ice hockey coach at Spaulding High School in Vermont, where she helped coach the team to a Division I state championship in 2023. Simons has also coached extensively at the youth level, spending time working with the Vermont Make-A-Wish Girls' Team, Girls 4 Hockey, Vermont Shamrocks AA and AAA Select Girl's Teams, the Saint Johnsbury Academy Varsity Girls' Team, the Lyndon Institute Varsity Boys Team, and the South Burlington High School Girls' Varsity team.      

Simons played two years for the Saint Michael's College Purple Knights. She made 41 starts over two years and amassed 1,483 saves in net. She recorded nine 30-save performances, to go along with five 40-save games, and a pair of 50-save matches. In 2019, she was named to the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) All-Rookie Team. In 2020, Simons was awarded the NEWHA Ice Hockey/Goaltender of the Year Award. 

Simons graduated from St. Michael's College with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and Spanish.