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Regan Fein defines life as a student-athlete

Smiling women cheering and hugging on a basketball court.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

Regan Fein, a senior health and wellness major with minors in biology and education, wears many hats - or more accurately, uniforms - at Framingham State University.

Fein said she came to the University to play lacrosse, but is graduating this May as a three-sport athlete - playing on the women’s soccer team her senior year, the women’s basketball team beginning her sophomore year, and the women’s lacrosse team for the entirety of her career.

Playing a total of eight seasons - including the 2024 women’s lacrosse season - Fein has built a résumé of accolades, achievements, and awards.

Fein, a three-time captain of the women’s lacrosse team since her sophomore season, was named to both the 2023 and 2022 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference First Teams.

She began the 2024 women’s lacrosse season ranking in the top 10 on three of the University’s career leaderboards. Fein was ranked second in assists (91), third in draw controls (184), and seventh for points (154).

After playing just five of the 10 games this season, Fein has recorded 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points, and 28 draw controls. She became the first player in the program’s history to record 200 draw controls, breaking the all-time record.

Fein has also moved up in the career record for points to sixth place (174). She is 22 assists away from setting the new program record and 12 goals away from entering the program’s top 14 for goals scored.

Regan was also named to the 2022 Women’s Basketball Sportsmanship Team and six All-Academic Teams - three times on the Winter/Spring Team and three on the Fall/Winter Team for every season as an athlete - an award for those who maintain at least a 3.2 grade point average during eligible seasons.

She was also a member of the women’s lacrosse 2021 MASCAC Regular Season Championship team and 2022 MASCAC Tournament Championship team, and the women’s basketball team during the 2021-22 and 2023-24 seasons, during which the team won both the MASCAC Regular Season Championship and MASCAC Tournament Championship.

Fein sets an example for student-athletes at the University as to what it means to be a student-athlete - balancing success on the pitch, court, field, and in the classroom.

Originally from North Attleborough, Fein said she was a three-sport varsity athlete at North Attleborough High School, balancing life on the soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams.

A woman cutting the netting from a basketball hoop.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

She said, “It was a little bit easier” being a three-sport athlete in high school because the seasons did not overlap with practices and games.

Fein said she did not plan on playing sports in college until halfway through her junior year of high school.

She said, “I was kind of more focused just on making sure I got to a school that I liked. And then about halfway through that junior year, I was like, ‘I don't know what I’d do if I don’t play lacrosse.’”

Fein said former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach James Rippey recruited her.

“He got me meeting the team and I just absolutely fell in love with both their chemistry and the campus as well,” she said.

Fein said as an athlete, she is committed, ambitious, and compassionate to her teammates.

“I care about my teammates a lot, and if it weren't for them, I think the sport itself just doesn't really feel the same,” Fein said.

Fein said as a student, she is motivated, organized, and accountable.

She said as a student-athlete overall, she is “a little bit of a whirlwind. … It’s a balancing act.”

Fein said as a Division III student-athlete, her academics come first and that is what is “heavily emphasized” by the school.

“I'm not normally one to toot my own horn… but I pride myself on being very well organized and staying on top of my work, whether it is on the field or off the field,” she said.

Fein said balancing life as a student-athlete is about time management and communication - specifically with her professors, coaches, friends, and teammates.

She said she spends approximately four to five hours a week dedicated to sports outside of organized team practices and games, and prioritizes coursework in between classes and her athletic commitments.

Fein said her most hectic season as an athlete was this past fall, balancing practices and games for women’s soccer, preseason practices for women’s basketball, and fall ball games and practices for women’s lacrosse.

“Fall was probably my busiest, which is ironic because I think I was the least stressed during the fall,” she said.

Fein said there were some days she had six hours of organized team practices. She had morning practices at 6:00 a.m. four times a week for women’s lacrosse. Then, she would go to classes, followed by a two-hour practice for women’s basketball two to three times a week, and then practices or games for women’s soccer.

She said the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires student-athletes to take one day of rest a week. She said she dedicates her Sundays to relaxing to give herself mental stability and rest her body.

Fein said the athletic trainers would text and email her, reminding her to take Sundays off to relax.

Two women chasing a soccer ball.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

She said after college, she plans to become a physical education teacher and coach women’s lacrosse in her off time, hopefully at the Division I level.

Fein said she wants to teach elementary school physical education. “I like being able to instill a passion for sports or health or exercise in a younger audience because they're more receptive to it, even when they don't know it.”

She said she is currently looking at graduate assistantship programs at colleges in Massachusetts to pursue a master’s degree in physical education while coaching women’s lacrosse at the collegiate level.

Fein said her years as a student-athlete have prepared her for life after college and the jobs she hopes to get.

“I like to tell people that each sport here has taught me a very different perspective on how to collaborate with other people,” Fein said.

According to Fein, her experience as a captain for the women’s lacrosse team since her sophomore year has taught her leadership.

Her experience on the women’s basketball team, on which she did not receive much playing time, taught her off-court leadership and how to bring a positive attitude to her team, she said.

Her experience on the women’s soccer team taught her humility and how to take a step back to ask questions, Fein said.

She said, “Each sport has taught me a very different level of how to work with other people,” whether “you are the leader or you’re the learner.”

Fein said for any of her peers struggling as a student-athlete, “You're going to be OK. You're going to be OK when it comes down to it. … It really does just boil down to finding the right amount of time per day to try to get done with your assignments. And if you're struggling, reach out to those professors. A lot of them are very compassionate - sympathetic - when it comes to being a student-athlete.”

Her advice for high school students preparing for life as a college student-athlete is to enjoy it while you can.

Fein said, “I wouldn't say, ‘Don't worry.’ I would say, ‘Don't let it go by too fast.’ Focusing on the things that are going to happen a month from now stops you from enjoying what's going on right now.

“Enjoy the present. Every minute you get with your teammates on the court or on the field is valuable, so don't just let it go. … I guarantee you a year from now, I'm going to be looking back wishing I had one more minute with them - so enjoy it,” she added.

Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Casey Bradley ’20 is in her first season as the head coach, but said she met Fein before through her involvement as an alumna of the program.

“Regan was always a name that pretty much every alumni knows as a great player for the program,” Bradley said.

She said she remembers her first interaction with Fein after being hired. Fein was a captain the previous season and was the only one already named for the upcoming season.

“She’s a go-getter - came right up to me and she’s like, ‘OK, I’m so excited. Let’s get to work,’” Bradley said. “That was pretty much on day one.”

Bradley said Regan is a “leader through and through.

“Regan is a total workhorse. She comes to practice every day - she is fired up. She's coachable. She's a leader. She's vocal. She does really big things for the program as a whole, but also the girls in general. She is someone that they certainly look up to and when things are going wrong, Regan is someone that they look up to to turn things around. She's just an all-around great athlete, but she's also a really good kid,” she added.

Bradley said during the fall season, Fein joined the women’s lacrosse fall ball practices at 6 a.m., while also balancing women’s soccer practices and women’s basketball preseason practices. “She just kind of went with the flow and she did it.”

She said Fein’s positive outlook has impacted her attitude as a coach. “When things aren't going so smoothly, Regan really puts in an extra effort to be loud and stay positive. As a coach, that can help us.”

Bradley said the women’s lacrosse program has “benefited greatly by having Regan as a part of it. And it'll be tough to replace someone like Regan when she graduates.”

Kristine Brown, an assistant athletic trainer at FSU, said she has known Fein since “day one.”

Brown is the trainer primarily assigned to assist the women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse teams and attends their practices and games.

She said she has supported multiple two-sport student-athletes over the course of her career, but Fein is the first three-sport student-athlete she has had the “pleasure” of working with.

Brown said it was “ultimately her decision” when Fein joined the women’s soccer team during her senior year, but “I cautioned her because I was concerned about injuries.”

She said, “She does try to do a good job taking care of herself - it’s difficult. You have to worry about overuse, but I think, given the workload that she's put on her body, I think she's done a really good job.”

Brown said Fein has a “terrific work ethic.

“She takes her sports seriously. She has a great personality. She can fool around and have a lot of fun, but when she's on the field, she's hyper-focused in whatever sport she's doing or whatever drill they're doing,” she added.

Brian Souza, a professor of nutrition and health studies, said Fein has taken many of his courses in the department to fulfill her health and wellness major.

He said Fein is a “great community member to have in the classroom” because she participates in discussions.

Souza said being an athlete can help one’s career trajectory in these fields because “there is more likely inherent enjoyment and interest in those fields since they're relevant to performance in sports.

“You see the same thing in a class. If you're engaged and you enjoy it, you're going to be more apt to discuss, do the work, and have thoughtful things to say about the material,” he added.

Hailey Baker, a junior health and wellness major, is a member of the women’s soccer team and the women’s lacrosse team. She said she first met Fein while she was in high school and attended a prospect clinic hosted by the women’s lacrosse program.

“She's one of my teammates and she's also become one of my very close friends on campus,” Baker said.

She said Fein is hard-working both as an athlete and a student. “She just sets those goals for herself and wants to achieve them no matter what it takes.”

Baker said, “[Fein] always has a lot of energy - a lot of positive energy,” and always tries to put everybody else’s needs before her own.

She said Fein is “very dedicated” to the sports she plays and “always puts in the extra work - is always trying to improve herself and improve her team.”

Fein is a leader on the teams she plays on, whether or not she holds a leadership position. “She is very knowledgeable about the sports she plays and she's always trying to help her teammates, help herself, and she's just overall a vocal leader. And she performs like a leader as well,” Baker said.

She said Fein is just as focused as a student as she is as an athlete.

“She is always on the bus doing her homework. … She is always pushing herself to be better in the classroom as well,” Baker said.

She said she has played on the women’s soccer team for two seasons and helped encourage Fein to join the team.

Baker said she and her friends told Fein to join the team to “get a few more bodies on the bench. But it actually ended up happening so it was kind of a surprise to all of us, but a good surprise.”

She said seeing Fein on the soccer field after knowing her as a teammate on the women’s lacrosse team was strange at first.

“I knew that she was always a soccer player, but it was weird actually experiencing it with her, especially because we both walked onto the soccer team. Neither of us ever had a plan to play once we got here, so it was just exciting. She just fit in so well with everyone that it looked like it was natural to her,” Baker said.

She said, “Seeing all the work she puts in makes me want to be better. It inspires me in a sense to put in the extra work.”

Brooke Phelps, a senior political science major and a captain of the women’s lacrosse team, said she has known Fein all four years of her college experience. They lived in the same residence hall freshman year.

Phelps said they first met over Zoom as a team due to COVID-19 restrictions, but during her first in-person interaction as a teammate, Fein was “​​super, super intimidating because she was outgoing. She didn't seem scared to talk to anybody. … She was talking to anybody and everybody and she was obviously really good at lacrosse.”

She said it did not take long to get over the “intimidation” once they started talking and Fein is now one of her best friends.

Phelps said, “If I'm going to describe [Fein] as anything, she's hard-working in all aspects of her life. From school to sports to social life, she is giving her 110% in every aspect of her life.

“I think everybody should be that as a student-athlete - giving it your all no matter what,” she added.

Phelps said Fein “lifts everybody up” during practices and games. “She's always high energy, so she tries to bring everybody up with her.”

She said Fein has “brought me out of my shell” during her four years as a student at FSU and has helped her become more outgoing, especially as a teammate on the women’s lacrosse team.

“It's really, really cool that she is a three-sport athlete her senior year of college. That is outstanding and you don't see that every day, so I think that should be highlighted,” Phelps said.

Flannery O’Connor, a fifth-year student, a captain of the women’s basketball team, and a health and wellness major, said she has known Fein for three years.

O’Connor said Fein is “one of my really good friends, a teammate, and a classmate.”

She said, “Regan is probably one of the most caring people I know. … She just wants to make everybody laugh and feel special and heard.”

O’Connor said she and Fein take the same courses for their health and wellness major. “Either she's taken the class before me or I've taken a class before her. But as of recently, we've been in a lot of them together. … She is always the person raising her hand, answering the professor’s questions, or asking for clarification.”

She said Fein “really understands the information because she’s really passionate about it.”

O’Connor said she first met Fein while working at the women’s lacrosse games during Fein’s freshman year, but they became closer when she walked onto the women’s basketball team the following season.

She said, “I knew she was just a ball of energy. She seemed really excited to be there and she caught on really quickly. She needed a day to know everybody's names and to know the plays that we were going through, so I was pretty impressed with those skills.

“And she was pretty good at basketball after not playing for a couple of years,” O’Connor added.

She said on the women’s basketball team, Fein is “the reason for our energy every single game. There's not a second when I don't hear her screaming her head off or starting all the cheers.”

O’Connor said she and Fein’s friends jokingly say Fein has a “literal sports store in her trunk.”

She said, “She is probably one of the most gifted athletes I've ever met. I've never seen somebody be able to just pick up two sports that weren't their main sport and actually excel at them.”

O’Connor said Fein is “definitely a little bit of an inspiration in multiple ways,” and seeing her balance three sports with her academics has “definitely helped open my eyes.

“I'm like, ‘Wow.’ I mean, if Regan could do three sports, then I could probably maybe get my homework done before practice,” O’Connor added jokingly.


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