McCarthy leading West Virginia during last season as a Mountaineer
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 07:09
For the past three seasons, Bry McCarthy has been a constant on the back line for the West Virginia women’s soccer team.
Throughout the senior defender’s illustrious career, she has been a vital part of some of the best defenses in program history. She earned all-Big East Conference second team honors as a junior and was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player at the Big East championships last season.
McCarthy has started every game since her sophomore season and ranks 12th all-time with 16 assists and eight goals.
Earlier this year, McCarthy represented her home country of Canada, traveling the world with the Canadian National Team.
She was asked to continue training with the team as they competed in the Cyprus Cup in February and in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.
"The international experience has helped me," McCarthy said. "International soccer is really fast – it’s really competitive, and that’s what I wanted to bring back here."
McCarthy said, contrary to popular belief, there aren’t many differences between playing in college and at the international level.
"The girls have more experience, obviously, because some of those girls graduated college 10 years ago," McCarthy said. "They’ve had their college experience and they’ve played professionally."
This season, McCarthy continues to start and lead her team on and off the field, and she is an asset to the program.
"The team voted her captain," said West Virginia head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "She understands the pressure of being a high-level athlete."
McCarthy knows first-hand how important it is to be able to handle the pressure involved as one of few upperclassmen on a young West Virginia team.
"As a senior, I have to bring leadership," she said. "I take all the opportunities I can to be a leader on the field, at practice and off the field.
"I try to be there for all the girls and support them. Being that person the girls can turn to is what I hope for."
Although McCarthy plays defense, her strong left foot also makes her a key player offensively. Her goal in the second minute of the Mountaineers’ season opener against La Salle was the earliest goal in school history.
"Bry (McCarthy) is someone we count on at both sides of the field. We want her to get in on the 18 to attack but we also get back and defend inside the 18," Izzo-Brown said.
As the season continues, McCarthy is trying to make the most of every game she has left as a Mountaineer.
"It’s bittersweet," McCarthy said. "It’s exciting, but at the same time, it’s sad because I know I’ll never get these moments back.
"I couldn’t imagine life (elsewhere), but I know and I hope to have a bright future when it comes to soccer."
McCarthy would like to continue playing soccer after graduation and looks for opportunities to present themselves.
"I want to go to grad school, but if I had the opportunity to play somewhere overseas, I would try to play anywhere," McCarthy said. "As long as I’m playing and having fun.
"I’ve learned a lot of things from being here. Coach is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. She teaches you so many things not just about soccer but about life."
McCarthy hopes for big achievements in the Big 12 Conference as she finishes her final season.
"I try not to think about it, because I think with our team and the way I approach it is they’re more to me than just players," Izzo-Brown said. "The opportunity I have to spend time with these young women are times I cherish and I know that at some point I’m not going to have that time.
"(The thought of them leaving) gets you emotional."