YOUmich Student Spotlight: Harrison Freid

Apr 18 2011 in Athletics, Campus, YOUmich by Amanda Slater

U of M Lacrosse Team Captain

by Paul Kitti

Fast Facts:

Major: Communications

What are a few of your favorite books? I’m more of a TV guy.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Doing something I like to do.

Describe yourself in three words: Hardworking, dedicated, loyal.

What is your ideal vacation spot? Anywhere there is a beach.

With three national championships in the past three seasons and eight conference championships in the past decade, University of Michigan Men’s Varsity Club Lacrosse team has risen to a level of dominance that is rarely seen in college sports. While this kind of success would be a miracle for some teams, Harrison Freid has come to expect it – so long as it is earned and maintained.

As a senior captain of U of M’s lacrosse team, it is Freid’s duty to rally his teammates behind the tradition of excellence that has characterized the program since its inception in 1940. Freid started playing lacrosse when he was eight years old, and his skills have carried him from his hometown of Needham, Massachusetts, to one of the most prestigious athletic campuses in the nation. “I knew from the moment I got in that I would be playing lacrosse for my duration at U of M,” Freid says.

Freid attributes a large part of the team’s longstanding success to head coach, John Paul. “Our coach has been at the helm for a long time,” says Freid. “A lot of teams in our league fire coaches quickly or don’t have the leadership at the coaching position. That’s the key – if you have a coach who can do the right things, you’re going to be successful. Coach Paul has done just that over the years—he has adapted to situations and put the team in the best situation to succeed, which is why we have been successful.”

Behind the excellent coaching staff is a truly dedicated group of athletes who take pride in being the best in the nation. “We train so hard and practice so intense that games are looked at as the reward,” Freid explains. “From the opening face to the end of the game, everyone is prepared to have fun and contribute.”

This hard work and intensity is reflected in the team’s current season record of 14-1, with recent victories over the University of Missouri, Arizona State, and Boston College. This achievement, however, doesn’t mean the nation’s #1-ranked team hasn’t had any challenges. Freid recalls a double-overtime battle against Oregon a few weeks back: “We arrived late, had no warm-up, and got down early, but we leaned on one another and fought back and came back to win that game, which has stuck with this team all season.”

Injuries have also been an obstacle for Freid this season. “Personally, I have been banged up a lot more this year than in any year since I have been here,” says Freid. He has suffered a broken finger, a deep contusion in his quadriceps, and a hamstring tear, in addition to a foot injury he received prior to the start of the season. “The injuries challenge you mentally because, when you finally heal up, you’re reluctant to play at full speed, but you have to get over that in order to help the team.”

It’s unlikely that a few injuries will be enough to stop Freid from reaching his fourth national title in four years. His team is expected to dominate the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association Tournament on May 7-8 in Saline, whereupon they will set their sights on the National Tournament in Denver, Colorado, on May 17.

Regardless of how the remainder of the season plays out, Freid will undoubtedly conclude his senior year with a phenomenal athletic experience, a great education, and a bright future.

“Whatever I choose to do in life, I know if I want to be successful, I have to put in the work,” says Freid, “and lacrosse has certainly shown me how much work is needed in order to be successful.”

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