Barr and the Lady Flames travel to James Madison on Friday for their season opener followed by a Sunday match at Duke.
Heading into the Liberty field hockey team's regular season opener at James Madison on Friday, LibertyFlames.com continues its field hockey focus series with midfielder Bethany Barr.
Barr and her sister, Serena, are both seniors on the team, and their sister Natalie is a graduate assistant coach. Both Bethany and Serena Barr were preseason All-BIG EAST team selections. Bethany enters her senior campaign as one of the most accomplished players in program history.
Bethany, who has played in 62 games (55 starts) in three years, is tied for fifth in career goals (20), third in assists (23), fifth in points (63) and sixth in shots (125). As a junior, the Lurgan, Northern Ireland native earned NFHCA South All-Region second team recognition and VaSID All-State second team honors. Barr also earned a spot on the NFHCA National Academic Squad for a third straight year.
Did you do anything memorable this summer? Barr: This summer, probably the most memorable thing was being back in Uganda. It's somewhere as a family and as a team that is special in our hearts. I know coach has been out to Uganda on several occasions. It was my fifth time there this summer. We did a lot of hockey coaching, sports development, kids clubs and health work that Serena helped lead. It was great being back. It was great seeing all the kids again. It really is just like family out there. The time flew by, but a lot was achieved when we were out there. With Charlene's Project, we got a lot of things done, and a lot of progress was made, which was really good and encouraging.
What is it like having your older sister, Natalie, as a graduate assistant coach for your team? Barr: Natalie growing up was always a mentor to us in field hockey. Whenever Serena and I were younger, she would always bring us out and help us practice, help us get better and teach us the things she was learning. Even when we were here and she was a current player, she was always trying to encourage us to get better. She would watch video with us and teach us ways to improve. Having her as a coach, we have so much respect for her already. She's always in a way been a coach to us. It's been fun and exciting for us coming through this summer. We were excited to have another year at it together. It's different not having her out on the field with us, for sure. But it's totally exciting, and I love her being a coach. She knows the game so well, and I have that respect for her.
What are your thoughts on Liberty being in the BIG EAST Conference now as well as the challenging schedule outside of the conference? Barr: It's really exciting. I look at the schedule, and yes, it's daunting at times, but that's exciting for us as a team. For us, we're just really excited to see what this year brings. We hope to be a good team in the BIG EAST and be challenging for those top spots.
Where is your favorite spot at Liberty or in the surrounding area and why? Barr: As cheesy as it is, probably my favorite spot is [the Liberty Field Hockey Field] just because there's been so many memories. My favorite memory was winning the NorPac Championship my freshman year here at our home turf. Those memories stay, and I'm excited to make more memories here this year in my senior year.
Have you, your sister Serena and Carrie Logie, the three seniors on this year's team, taken on a leadership role this season more than in the past? Barr: There have been great leaders in the past throughout this team. You are trying to take up that mantle and lead by example in all aspects. They were such a great example to us and helped us through our past three years. You're just trying to do something similar and follow in their footsteps.
Have you set team goals and individual goals for your senior season? Barr: Coming into the BIG EAST Conference, a big goal we have is we want to win that conference and come out as champions. We know it won't be easy, and we know there'll be days where we have to put in a ton of hard work and effort. Against those big teams we're playing outside of conference, we want to come out with some strong wins. Individually, we'll set goals as we come into each game and continue to get better.
What are your plans once you graduate? Barr: Once I graduate, I'd like to go get a master's in something geography-wise. Geography is part of my major. I do interdisciplinary studies with environmental biology and geography. I'd like to get a master's in geography and then possibly get a PGCE at home, which is like a teacher licensure. I'd like to become a high school geography teacher. Where I do the master's, I still haven't decided, whether it be at home, or in England or somewhere else in Europe.
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