So Sweet A Cat Field is named for an animal, but not the kind you’d expect.
“Where can her mourning mistress find so sweet a Cat? So meek! So kind!”
It’s from this line of Mary Robinson’s poem, “Mistress Gurton’s Cat: A Domestic Tale,” that the name of the home field of Monmouth’s field hockey program is derived.
But the field isn’t named in memory of Robinson, or even a cat for that matter. It’s named for of one of Class of 1981 alumna Jane Freed’s beloved race horses, So Sweet A Cat. The race mare, which claimed a win at Saratoga Park and was also named Horse of the Year at the Finger Lakes in 2004, reportedly earned Freed nearly half a million dollars during its four-year career.
A philanthropist and generous supporter of a number of academic and athletic initiatives at Monmouth, Freed served on the university’s Board of Visitors and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. She was also an avid fan of Monmouth’s field hockey team; as a child, she played the sport while attending the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where she was named to the All Washington Field Hockey Team.
Freed’s gift in support of the rollout of Monmouth’s turf field was “the first major capital gift made by a woman for women,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Marilyn McNeil said at the time. Former assistant field hockey coach Kathleen Stefanelli ’01 also made a generous donation in support of So Sweet A Cat field, which was officially dedicated on Oct. 12, 2007.