A five-time NCAA Division I National Champion as a player and coach, Marybeth Freeman was named Columbia’s head coach in April 2010 and her championship experience and competitiveness have been major driving forces for the Lions’ field hockey program.
Columbia was forced to reload in 2013 after seeing the bulk of its scoring and its main goalkeeper from the previous year depart to graduation. Faced with a difficult schedule that featured four ranked opponents, Freeman and her staff saw their young squad make big strides on the field, highlighted by the development of sophomore Christina Freibott and the emergence of first-year Katie Ruesterholz. Freibott more than doubled her scoring output from her first year (7 to 17 points) en route to being named NFHCA All-Mideast Region Second Team and second team All-Ivy League. Ruesterholz burst onto the scene to score 10 goals to set a program record for most scores by a rookie.
Freeman guided the Lions to a 9-8 record in 2012 and a third place finish in the Ivy League standings by going 4-3 in the conference. It marked the first time that Columbia posted back-to-back winning Ivy League seasons in program history. Under her guidance, Gabby Kozlowski earned first team All-Region honors while Katie DeSandis garnered honorable mention status from the NFHCA. Additionally, Columbia saw four players earn All-Ivy League status (two first team, two second team) and put 15 student-athletes on the NFHCA All-Academic squad, marking the most of any Ivy League institution.
In 2011, Freeman’s second year leading the program, the Lions went 9-8 and tied a program best with a 5-2 record in Ivy League play. Freeman led a determined Columbia squad that stayed in contention for the conference title through the final week of the season. The 2011 team produced two NFHCA All-Region honorees in Kozlowski and Christie O’Hara and a program-record six All-Ivy League selections. Leti Freaney, Kozlowski and O’Hara were first team All-Ivy League honorees and Kozlowski was a unanimous selection for the second consecutive year.In her first season at the helm, Freeman led her team to a 10-7 overall record, and 3-4 in the Ivy League. She coached Kozlowski to a unanimous first team All-Ivy League selection, the first for the Lions since 2007, after Kozlowski broke the single-season record for goals with 16. Kozlowski was also an NFHCA All-Region selection.
Freeman became just the fourth field hockey coach in school history, after having spent seven years at the University of Maryland under legendary coach Missy Meharg. Freeman joined the Terps in 2003, serving as the team’s assistant coach until 2006. Meharg then promoted Freeman to associate head coach in 2007. She played an integral role in leading her team to three national titles in 2005, 2006, and 2008, and three ACC Conference titles in 2005, 2008, 2009.
Among her many responsibilities at Maryland, Freeman was responsible for developing the Terps’ defense and goalkeeping unit. During her tenure, she worked with three-time All-American Kathryn Masson, who led the nation in goals against average twice, while ranking in the top five in her final three years from 2005-08. Masson was the first-ever Terp goaltender to be honored as a first team All-American in the history of the program.
Freeman is also the head goalkeeping and defense coach for the United States Field Hockey High Performance Mid-Atlantic Region, in addition to working with the US Field Hockey Futures program.
Freeman is a 2002 graduate of Old Dominion and helped the Lady Monarchs to national titles in 1998 and 2000. The four-year starter also led her team to four CAA Conference titles. In addition to her success on the field, Freeman excelled in the classroom as she was a four-year NFHCA Academic All-American.
She holds a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from ODU and recently earned her master's in education from the University of Maryland in May 2008.