BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Senior forward Bry Barlett knows a thing or two about scoring goals. Last year she was named Liberty's offensive player of the year. "I got a lot more minutes than I ever did as an underclassman and it was great to just get practice on leading the team," she said.
That "practice leading the team" already has her sounding like a player coach when she describes the early season. "We see our weaknesses, we see our strengths and we also see the vulnerability that each game provides."
Vulnerability that comes from sometimes overlooking opponents. "It's Bakersfield, California," said 7th year coach Brandon "Boog" Hearron. "It gets (to be) 32 degrees and there's 5 people in the stands so you gotta find that motivation to go out and compete for your school and she (Bartlett) does a really good job of that."
Bartlett's motivation comes from just trying to get back onto the pitch after a foot injury from track season put her on the sidelines for nearly six months. But in her first game back, she scored the equalizer in the Patriots' come from behind victory over Highland. "It was completely joyous because I'd been deprived of the game," she said.
The senior has already committed to play next year at San Jose State but before she heads to the Bay, she's doing her part to keep Liberty's perfect season in place (5-0 record including this weekend's Patriots Cup).