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.