Lily Shields has been a footballer for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve been playing since I was five,” she said. “I made my debut in the Freetown-Lakeville Youth League. I love to play soccer. It’s a tough sport, but the rewards of being part of a team are well worth it.

His father, Bob, played an important role in his footballing life. He started coaching her in fourth grade and was her coach for four years at Bishop Stang. He also coaches the Juventus Academy travel team with which she plays in Boston.

“He’s been my coach for a very long time and he does a great job,” she said. “I owe him everything because he helped me become the player that I am. He’s the best coach I’ve ever played for, without bias. It’s special to have the chance to play. for him.”

With the exception of six games she missed as a junior, Shields has been a four-year starter for the Spartans, who play in the competitive Catholic Central League and have built one of the best programs in the region.

“I have had great teammates around me and we have had strong teams,” she said. “Teams that have worked together with great chemistry. The program has developed well. We have been able to add good players every year and it has been a great experience to be part of a winning program.”

Bishop Stang's Lily Shields pursues the long ball that has been played to her.

Football is a year-round pursuit for Shields, who rarely takes a day off from the sport.

“I do something football related every day of the week,” said Shields, who trains at Be Fit in Lakeville and B.Select in New Bedford. “Football is a big part of my life and I make it a priority.”

For Bob Shields, years have passed as he watched his daughter progress as a footballer.

Lily Shields shoots the goal kick for Bishop Stang.

“It’s been a whirlwind of training, practice and games,” he said. “I’ve seen her grow into a fast, physical player who’s good with the ball and knows how to create scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. She’s had a lot to deal with. Teams have pitched teams to her. doubles and triples trying to take she didn’t play, but she always held on and never stopped working. “

After all she went through, all the blood, sweat and tears, Lily Shields wouldn’t change a thing.

“I put my heart and soul into football and loved every minute of it,” she said. “I’m always looking to improve and I want to play as long as possible”,

Lily shields

ALL ABOUT LILY SHIELDS

WHY SHE WAS SELECTED: Turned out to be one of the region’s most versatile players with 29 goals and 16 assists for the Spartans, who concluded a 10-5-4 season with a 3-0 32nd loss to Weston in the division. 3 State tournament. Won first team honors from Eastern States and Catholic Central League.

KEY STATISTICS: Finished with 93 career goals and 53 assists. She likely would have scored 100 goals if she hadn’t missed six games in her junior season with injury. Scored 43 goals in sophomore year.

MOMENT MVP: Switched from forward to defense in a Catholic Central League season-ending game against Bishop Fenwick and assisted the Spartans’ goal in a 1-1 draw against the Crusaders. “She did what was best for the team,” said coach Bob Shields. “That’s what team-oriented players do.”

OLD ROCHESTER COACH JEFF LOMBARD: “Lily has a good touch of the ball and a great understanding of how to reach the goal. She was difficult to drop the ball and a great finisher.”

REMARKS: Will continue his football career at American International College, an NCAA Division II school in Springfield that plays in the Northeast-10 conference. Has a GPA of 3.8 at Stang and plans to major in Physiotherapy. Likes math and science lessons. Enjoy shopping and spending time with family and friends. Raised in Lakeville, where she still lives.