MILAN — Following Thursday’s 6-3 loss to Milan in the Division 3 girls soccer district final, Clinton senior Madalyn Freitas couldn’t remember her first goal.
Who could blame her? It had been 1,168 days, 194 goals, 56 games, a pandemic and a school transfer since she found the back of the net for the first time in a high school game.
“I think if I had my sophomore season I could’ve bumped myself up (the goal charts) a little bit,” Freitas said. “I could only work with the seasons that I had. With what I had, I think I made the most of it. I’m pretty proud of myself.”
As she should be.
From her first game on March 22, 2019, where she scored four goals and added two assists in an 11-0 mercy of Dundee while playing for Tecumseh, to Thursday’s district defeat where she scored a goal against the Big Reds, Freitas scored 195 goals.
Her 195 goals make her tied for fifth all-time in MHSAA history, 33 shy of the record set by Libby Munoz of Leland from 2013-16.
It’s not a stretch to believe she would’ve broken the goals record, along with Hannah Thompson of Schoolcraft, had she not missed the sophomore season due to COVID.
Along with her 195 goals, Freitas had 27 assists to give her 222 career points, which will be tied for sixth all-time in MHSAA history.
“She has that gift to score,” said Clinton head coach Marla Erickson. “But, she is also such a team player. She’s such a hard worker and builds positive energy around her.
“Her gift is scoring, but her gift is also moving the ball and finding the players. We’ll miss her.”
Her hard work comes from wanting to improve her game each season.
She bursted on the season as a freshman with Tecumseh when she scored 62 goals, a Lenawee County record and led Tecumseh with 14 assists.
When COVID hit, she used the canceled season to transfer to Clinton High School, which would make her eligible to join the team as soon as the 2020-21 season began.
She broke her own mark of 62 goals with 63, but did it in seven less games as COVID season was condensed and she missed the playoff game with an injury.
This season she upped her own record one more time, becoming only the second person in MHSAA history to score at least 70 goals in a season.
“Each year my goal is to keep beating myself,” Freitas said. “Beating my own records.”
If challenging herself season after season wasn’t enough, Freitas had to also learn a new system and take on new roles when she transferred to Clinton.
“The competition was different and the teams played differently,” Freitas said. “It’s all comparable in different ways. This year, I stood up from what I was used to. I was really trying to help those around me and I think that was a big thing for me that I can take to college, being more of a leader and not independent and doing my own thing.”
Freitas will be heading to Spring Arbor where she will join a tradition rich NAIA program with the Cougars.
It’ll be a big change for Freitas, who won’t get the defensive attention she grew used to seeing in the high school level.
“It’s a new chapter,” Freitas said. “I’m really excited to play collegiate soccer. It’s a whole different game and level of soccer. The game is so different.”