MILAN — After Thursday’s 6-3 loss to Milan in the Division 3 Women’s Football 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 first found the back of the net in a high school game.
“I think if I had had my second season I could have gone up (the goalscoring table) a bit,” Freitas said. “I could only work with the seasons 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 Dundee pity 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 tied her for fifth all-time in MHSAA history, 33 shy of the record set by Leland’s Libby Munoz of 2013 at 16.
It’s no stretch to believe she would have broken the scoring record, along with Schoolcraft’s Hannah Thompson, if she hadn’t missed season two due to COVID.
In addition to his 195 goals, Freitas had 27 assists to give him 222 career points, which will be tied for sixth all-time in MHSAA history.
“She’s got that scoring knack,” Clinton head coach Marla Erickson said. “But she’s also a team player. She works so hard and creates positive energy around her.
“Her gift is to score, but her gift is also to move the ball and find the players. She will be missed.”
His hard work comes from wanting to improve his game every season.
She broke out the season as a rookie with Tecumseh when she scored a Lenawee County record 62 goals 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 at the start of the 2020-21 season.
She broke her own mark of 62 goals with 63 but did so in seven games less as the COVID season was condensed and she missed the playoff game through injury.
This season, she increased her own record once again, becoming the second person in MHSAA history to score at least 70 goals in a season.
“Every year my goal is to keep fighting,” Freitas said. “Breaking my own records.”
If challenging each other season after season wasn’t enough, Freitas also had to learn a new system and take on new roles when she was traded to Clinton.
“The competition was different and the teams played differently,” said Freitas. “Everything compares in different ways. This year I got up from what I was used to. I was really trying to help those around me and I think it was a big thing for me that I I could bring to college, being more of a leader and not independent and doing my own thing.”
Freitas will travel to Spring Arbor where she will join a tradition-rich NAIA program with the Cougars.
It will be a big change for Freitas, who won’t get the defensive attention she used to see in high school.
“It’s a new chapter,” Freitas said. “I’m really excited to play college football. It’s a completely different game and level of football. The game is so different.”