EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Kate Shields.

The Bay View Junior is closing in on 500 career saves, helping the Bengals earn the 2nd Seed in the RIIL D-III Lacrosse Playoffs and a spot in this week’s Semifinals.

“I think it’s her ability to see the field and not be afraid to communicate, and she really helps in terms of calling defense,” said Bengal Head Coach Nicole Smith. “To slide and get the crash where it needs to be. And also, just her ability to see upfield on clears and anticipate what’s to come next.”

Shields started as a Field player in Lacrosse, but knee injuries that began in 6th grade forced her to switch to goal. It was a move that took her some time to settle.

“I was scared of the ball. I stepped away from it every time,” Shields said. “But the constant shots, the constate work with my coaches just made me love it and now at this point, it’s the adrenaline that comes with every single game. I love taking that and being, ‘OK, if they’ve gotten through everyone else, this is my chance to show I’m going to save the ball. This is going to be mine; this is how I am going to help the team keep moving forward.”

Though she’s only a Junior, Kate already has her college plans set. She’s committed to play at the University of Oregon in 2025, with a trip to Eugene last Fall, sealing her choice. 

“I just loved the environment, I loved the coaches, super great school,” Shields said. “Obviously Football and Track are really big, so I’m super excited to be going out there and experiencing D-I Lacrosse with the Ducks.”

If you have a Hometown Sports Hero you’d like to nominate, email sports@wpri.com.