COLUMBUS, Ohio – As a historic 2019-20 season came to a close for the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team, the Buckeyes pay tribute to its four seniors who helped the Scarlet and Gray reach new heights, including a Frozen Four appearance and the program’s first WCHA Championship.
Rebecca Freiburger, a forward out of Minnesota, finished her career with her best season to date, notching 11 points from six goals and five assists. Her hard work and dedication not only shows in her point production but also her consistency over the past four years, as she finished her career tied for the most games played in program history.
Freiburger put the exclamation point on her Ohio State career as she tallied a career-high five assists and tied a season-high six goals during her senior season. She posted her first multi-goal game with back-to-back goals against Colgate in November to help the Buckeyes defeat the Raiders, 6-2. She went on to notch two, multi-point games in January with a goal and an assist against No. 1 Minnesota and Quinnipiac. To finish the year, Freiburger posted an impressive 38 blocked shots, third best among Buckeye forwards. Not only is Freiburger a force on the ice but her dedication shows off the ice as she received WCHA Scholar-Athlete and WCHA All-Academic Team honors for the third year in a row.
— Ohio State Women’s Hockey (@OhioStateWHKY) January 18, 2020
To reflect back on her remarkable journey and look ahead to what’s next, Rebecca Freiburger recently caught up with OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
What will be your most lasting memory from winning the WCHA Championship?
For me it would be the pure joy and excitement that everyone on our team had in that moment. We were all so happy to have been a part of accomplishing something that Ohio State women’s hockey has never done before. To see our amazing staff, families, fans, and everyone share in that exhilaration truly made me realize the family that we have now and will have with us for the rest of our lives.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from being a student-athlete at Ohio State?
Take advantage of the opportunities that you are provided. Ohio State’s athletic department is superior is what it provides to their athletes for success in sport, academics, and in life. Four years goes by way to fast and I would hate to look back and not have maximized my experience as a student athlete. Another lesson is that the greatest accomplishments in life come from the greatest sacrifices. Nothing is ever handed to you and once you reach the pinnacle you have to work even harder to stay there.
Reflecting back on your four years, what makes Ohio State women’s hockey special?
The people and the culture we have established is what made Ohio State women’s hockey so special for me. For my class, we came into this program without a head coach and to look back now at everything we have gone through and accomplished is extremely rewarding. We have a special culture that demands excellence and absolute dedication and the group and staff we have now is perfect for that. I have never been a part of team that is so close and genuinely cares for everyone in the locker room. I have no doubt that in the many years to come Ohio State women’s hockey will be a perennial power because of the people and culture of this team.
What are your plans after graduation and what will you take with you into the “real world” from your experience here?
I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Science at the University of Pittsburgh. The two biggest things I will take with me into the real world is the importance of hard work and surrounding yourself with good people. For me, hard work has played a huge part in my career as a division one athlete. I have never been the most talented player, but I believe my work ethic and desire have set me apart and those values can be applicable to any aspect in life. This year especially has shown me the importance of having the right people in your life. Having teammates that are your best friends, an amazing staff, and family in your life is a blessing. A support system that only wants what is best for you and can push you to be the best version of yourself will carry you to places that you couldn’t achieve alone.