It all started before she was 4 years old. When her parents would leave to go work at the Pentagon, she would stay with her Brazilian baby-sitter and watch her three older brothers play soccer. She was intrigued. All she wanted was to play with the older boys. When her dad finally asked her which sport she wanted to try, she immediately replied soccer. And soccer it has been ever since.
Shelby Redman is now a Red Shirt Junior on the women’s soccer team.
Since her passion was sparked watching those backyard games, Redman’s talent has flourished. She played on the Dallas Texans club 92s team for six years, and with them won two national championships, including the 2008 USYS Under 16 National Championship. Shelby was ranked the No. 89 recruit in the nation and No. 13 in Texas by topdrawersoccer.com.
As a forward on SMU’s team, Redman tied for the team lead with nine goals last season, and tied the C-USA 2012 single-game high with eight shots.
For Redman, soccer is more than a game, more than a sport and more than a way to blow some steam. For her, it is also a way to connect with the rest of the world.
“Soccer is a universal language,” Redman said. “It doesn’t matter where you go or where you’re coming from. It beats all language barriers, socioeconomic barriers, everything. It just brings people together.”
Outside of soccer, Shelby is just as passionate. She is an advertising major and anthropology minor, and will graduate on time in May.
“I want people to know I am a nerd,” Redman said. “From reading about politics or philosophy, or anything, I just love being exposed to new things.”
After finishing out her soccer career, possibly professionally, Redman hopes to open her own business in sports recovery, working with new tactics such as hyperbaric and cryogenics.
Shelby’s life was turned upside down in the beginning of her freshman season at SMU when she tore her ACL, meniscus, post lateral corner and MCL all at the same time during an early season practice.
“It was one of the hardest times of my life,” Redman said. “I’ve built an identity for myself that is embodied by soccer, and trying to figure out where I fit in when I didn’t have soccer was upsetting and I was really depressed for awhile.”
Though it was a hard transition, Redman continued to honor her commitment to the team and attended all of the team events from games, to practices, to weight room workouts, in addition to her own daily rehab workouts. Now, looking back, she is able to reflect on the experience positively.
“It really was a blessing in disguise,” Redman said. “It reaffirmed my passion for soccer. After going six or eight months without it, I will never take it for granted.”
The support Shelby had from her teammates throughout and even after her injury was illustrated very clearly during her game against OU. Redman scored the winning goal, almost her first touch on the ball since she was put into the game.
“Just seeing some of my teammates having tears in their eyes because they were so happy for me, that moment, I will never forget that because it’s something that meant so much to me to just see the support and the love,” Redman said.
The soccer team has become Redman’s family. Most of her favorite memories from playing soccer are the ones she made traveling on the road and staying in hotel rooms with her teammates.
“It’s like we are our own sorority,” Redman said. “Just like with any sister relationship you get into arguments, but we have a love for each other and at the end of the day that trumps everything. It is invaluable to have these sorts of people my life.”