Natalie Barr will join the Lady Flames field hockey program this fall.
Adding to her class of 12 incoming freshmen this season, Liberty Field Hockey Head Coach Jodi Murphy has announced the addition of Natalie Barr to the program this fall. Barr, a native of Northern Ireland, is the program's first international player.
"Natalie is a wonderful addition to our program," stated Murphy. "Her maturity both on the field and off will pay dividends for our growth as a team this year. When I first heard about Natalie I knew she would be a great fit as our first international player. She has a wealth of experience both at the club hockey level and in the international game. Her natural leadership abilities and passion for the sport will certainly sharpen our team."
Barr has competed for both her province of Ulster and country of Ireland since the age of 13, captaining teams for Ulster and Ireland at both U16 and U18 levels. Most recently, Barr has competed for Ulster and Ireland at the U21 level.
Due to her international experience, Barr has played for Ireland in four European Championships, including a bronze medal finish in 2006. She captained her Ulster squad to a gold medal in the UK School Games in 2010, claiming victories over the England, Scotland and Wales U18 international teams. Barr helped her team at Lurgan College claim Ulster and All-Ireland Championship titles, en route to being honored with multiple best team awards. Barr has been named Young Sports Person of the Year multiple times in her borough.
At the club level, Barr has competed for Lurgan Ladies since the age of 13. The team competes in the Premiereship, the highest league level in Ulster.
Off the field, Barr is highly active in Charlene's Project, a charity created by her late sister, Charlene, who battled cystic fibrosis. The entire Barr family has continued the efforts of the project, which focus primarily on the building of educational facilities in Uganda. Hidden Treasure, the charity's first school, opened in early 2011. The Barrs have also begun to coach and instruct field hockey camps in Uganda, supplying loads of equipment through donations.
"It would be no coincidence that Natalie and I both share a passion for Uganda and it was that common thread that first linked us," Murphy recalled. "The Lord has scripted an amazing story to bring Natalie to compete with our program and assist Pathfinder Hockey to further advance the Gospel in the country of Uganda. We are in the early stages of planning a trip to Uganda next May."
The Lady Flames kick off the 2012 campaign on the road, facing Saint Joseph's and Lehigh on Aug. 24 and 26. Liberty's first of 11 home games for the season is Sept. 1, as Georgetown will visit the Hill City for a 1 p.m. start.
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