A person’s childhood has a lot to do with who they are later in life, and that’s certainly true for Field Hockey Co-Captain Shea Freda ’24. Freda spent her entire childhood around field hockey, as her mother was a field hockey coach at a high school. With her parents’ support and inspiration, Freda started playing at just five years old, later joining a club once she reached middle school.
“I look up to my parents, that’s such a cliche but it’s so true. I have two moms and both of them are coaches as well. They’re such incredible leaders and they’ve been coaching and teaching for so long, it seems like they always know the right thing to do, the right thing to say. They just know how to lead a group of people, and I think the values that they’ve instilled in me growing up and everything I’ve learned from them has prepared me for this season being captain. It’s just so special to have them as my role models and they’re just incredible leaders,” Freda said.
Freda explained that the support her mothers lacked while they were athletes in college allowed for both of them to give Freda and her siblings unconditional support. They were able to instill important values such as drive and independence into Freda’s playing style.
Freda said, “They’re two incredible women who have played multiple sports in college, grew up playing sports, and both of them have paved their own paths in life, and really been independent growing up. One of my moms, she’s a daughter of two immigrants from Portugal, and they didn’t know anything about sports or college, nothing coming to the United States, just wanted their kids to have a successful future. It made her so independent, so driven. My other mom as well, her dad didn’t want her playing sports as a girl and didn’t help propel her forward. Both of them created for themselves such a drive and passion that they had to do it all themselves, and when they had kids, when they had me and my brothers, wanted to support us as much as they could because that’s something they didn’t have growing up, which is something I’m so grateful for. Not only have they taught me this drive, passion, how to be independent, how to be a self-advocate, but have showed me their non-stop support, and propelled me further in ways that I could never show my gratitude enough for.”
Her teammates see these values reflected in her on and off the field. According to Lucy Parker ’26, Freda is very hard working and constantly full of energy. No matter if it’s a game or practice, she always gives it her all and more, fighting for every ball as if her life depends on it.
“All the time in practice, she wants to get to that ball, and that is Shea’s ball. When you see a ball that’s a 50/50 ball, Shea will get that ball because she has that second ounce of drive in it, and it’s really cool to see because practice, games, anything, a scrimmage, she always has the same attitude,” Parker said.
Her value on the team goes much deeper than just being a great player, as she fills her role as captain excellently, according to Quiana Bell ’26. In addition to Parker’s previous statement, Bell agrees that Freda is a great leader, and the energy present in her play is not lost upon her teammates.
Bell said, “She holds us accountable for everything. Whenever our team energy is down, she’ll come up, give you some tips on what you can do better how to improve, what can we do as a team, and I also think when we do well as a team she’s the one who just brings it to a whole other level. She’ll start yelling, she’ll start cheering, and it makes the environment just great.”
Though she has a lot of energy, she makes sure to never allow that energy to be negative. As Annabel Curry ’25 stated, when she first met Freda during tryouts she was already impressed by her skill and kindness.
“I’d say she’s so inclusive, and everyone on the team together, she’s always hyping people up. On the field, I’d say, she’s never freaking out at people, she’s always very calm, she’s never going after someone for a mistake, she never focuses on that,” Curry said.
According to Freda, she strives to be a strong leader by unifying the players together under one team. She continues this task from last year, when she was the only lower on the team.
Freda said, “As a leader I think I am a diplomatic person, I’m a people pleaser to a fault sometimes. I really try to make everyone’s voice heard, and try to make everyone feel welcome, and I think last year being the only lower on the team, I felt like I was the connector between the upperclassmen and the lowerclassmen, which was an interesting role that I played which helped me this year, being able to connect with so many different people on the team and create an environment where everyone feels like they’re friends and there’s not separation between grades or friend groups, but we all really get along.”