Solid Shields Perfect In Goal

Those who can’t do teach.

However, this doesn’t apply to women’s soccer co-captain goalkeeper Katie Shields, who is excelling in her career on the field before pursuing one off of it.

The four year starter is well on her way to a record-breaking final season for the Crimson. Shields leads a defense that has allowed a mere five goals in 11 games. Her eight shutouts are a season record for the keeper, who entered the season with just seven career shutouts.

Shields also boasts a 0.44 goals against average with 54 saves, leading the Ivy league in both the goals against and the save percentage (0.915) categories.

Thanks to Shields, Harvard (6-3-2, 1-1-1 Ivy) still has a fighting chance at both the League title­—with four vital Ivy games left—and another one of the team’s major goals, a berth in the NCAA tournament.

“I’m focused on having the best season I’ve had in my career here,” Shields said. “I want to keep the ball out of the back of the net, but also I want to keep the energy level up and as a team take chances.”

After former captain and 2004 unanimous First Team All Ivy player Liza Barber graduated, Shields felt it was her responsibility to step up to make this season a memorable one.

“I have some big shoes to fill, and I’m looking to fill in on and off the field,” Shields said. “I hope to lead the team as the leaders in front of me did.”

According to co-captain junior back Laura Odorczyk, Shields has had no trouble transitioning to this role.

“She has been a really great leader on and off the field,” Odorczyk said.

Off the field Katie is more to her teammates than just a senior goalie.

“She is really great with the younger players,” Odorczyk said. “She’s a senior captain, but she really makes an effort to go talk to them and make sure everything is okay and everyone is doing well.”

Shields’ added dimension as a leader is a skill she hopes to use beyond this season.

“It’s become kind of the joke on the team that I am going to be a coach,” Shields said. “I probably will pursue it in the short future.”

After participating in former US National Team Coach Tony DiCicco’s soccer camp for 11-18 year old goalkeepers, Shields decided to return to coach.

“I would love to continue working for SoccerPlus in the future,” Shields said. “I love coaching kids. I got an email [Monday] from one of my campers; that’s the part that I love.”

Until then, Shields will continue to do her thing in the net for the Crimson.

“She’s one of those players that thrives under pressure,” Odorczyk said. “A lot of players I’ve played with aren’t; but when things are stressful on the field and you need a shutout, you know you can count on [Shields] in the back.”