EAST LANSING, Mich. - Cara Freeman (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central), who will enter Michigan State in the fall as a welcome compliment to a potent forward combination of sophomore Lauren Hill and junior Kristi Timar, was named the Illinois Girls' Soccer Player of the Year on Thursday night at the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches' Association banquet at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst, Ill.
Freeman helped lead Lincoln-Way Central to a fourth-place finish in the Illinois Class AA tournament, as she posted two game-tying goals in Lincoln-Way Central's 4-2 semifinal win over Maine South. For the season, Freeman scored 38 goals and added 26 assists, totaling 102 points, for the Knights, helping the team to a 22-9 record.
In her three-year career at Lincoln-Way Central, Freeman notched 96 career goals, the 36th-best total in state history. Her 38 goals as a senior also place within Illinois' top 50 prep seasons and her 26 assists were 22nd in state history. Freeman raked in honors during her senior campaign, including a preseason mention on the Chicago Tribune's Girls' Soccer Players To Watch list, a spot on the IHSCAA All-State Team, the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area First Team and the Chicago Tribune All-State First Team.
Freeman was a three-time high school team and she earned the 2006 Daily Southtown Player of the Year award. She helped lead Lincoln-Way Central to a fourth-place finish in the state and was a member of the NSCAA All-Midwest Region team as a junior after scoring 29 goals. Also a star of Lincoln-Way Central's basketball team, Freeman finished fourth among all 17-year-olds in the Chicago Marathon.
Playing with club team, the Windy City Pride, Freeman helped the Pride to the NISL League Championship, the Florida Orange Classic title and the Vardar Nike Cup Championship. The Pride also were Celtic Cup finalists and Freeman led the Pride to the U-19 Gold Division title at the Germantown Invitational by scoring all four goals in a 4-2 win over St. Louis Metro United in the finals.
Freeman will join an MSU offensive line that features sophomore Lauren Hill (Northville, Mich./Northville), who posted eight goals and two assists for 18 points, and junior Kristi Timar (Novi, Mich./Novi), who posted two goals and a team-high five assists in 2006. Michigan State finished 8-9-1 under two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year Tom Saxton in 2006.