Former college soccer player inducted into Hall of Honors
Dr. Kelly McDonald Freeman described it as a full circle moment when she returned to her alma mater to be inducted into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honors at the University of Texas in Austin in September.
“It was an amazing weekend of festivities and ceremonies,” said Freeman, who lives in the Winterberry neighborhood with her family. “I was recognized for my hard work and what I did for the university.”
Freeman was an All-American soccer player and four-time, all-region select for the Texas Longhorns from 2001 to 2004. She still holds the record for most goals scored (46) and ranks second in career points (110). She led the Longhorns to their first NCAA tournament in program history in 2001.
Nearly two decades after hanging up her cleats, she was surprised to receive a phone call from Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte telling her she was a hall of famer.
“I thought the opportunity might have come and gone,” recalled Freeman. “The call was out of the blue and I couldn’t talk. I started crying.”
Growing up in Colorado, Freeman did not start playing soccer until she was 9 years old and quickly stood out on the field playing competitively with Colorado Rush. By the age of 14, she was playing for the U.S. National Team, which required training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California and traveling internationally to play teams in other countries. Winning two championships in high school, she was recruited and eventually committed to Texas.
After college, Freeman returned home to Colorado. She became engaged to her high school sweetheart, Matt, and was accepted into the CU School of Dental Medicine.
“I had to make the choice if I wanted to continue down the path of soccer or use my education. Dentistry seemed like the best path, long term,” added Freeman.
Freeman received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and opened her own private dental practice, Lone Tree Family Dentistry.
“It is rewarding in that I use my education from Texas and CU,” said Freeman. “I’m the sole dentist and owner. We have a great staff and a very successful practice.”
Freeman was voted by 5280 Magazine as a Top Dentist from 2013 to 2021.
She and Matt have been married for 17 years and have two children, Peyten (14) and Knox (9). Athleticism runs in the family. Matt played football at the University of Northern Colorado. The couple has passed along their love for sports to their children.
“There is nothing more that I like to do than watch my kids play sports,” smiled Freeman.
The family also enjoys skiing and snowboarding, tropical and European vacations and camping and boating on the lake. Freeman still plays in adult co-ed soccer leagues and cannot help but wonder how different life would be had she pursued a career in professional soccer.
“Where women’s soccer is today, there are a lot more opportunities for young girls these days,” she continued. “If they have the potential to play at a higher level, I would say to go for it!”
Freeman concluded by saying that there are more regrets later in life, but when she graduated from college there was not a lot of money to be made in women’s soccer. “Hindsight is 20/20.”
By Mindy Stone; photo courtesy of Kelly Freeman