Senior defender McCarthy learns from experience with Canadian national team
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 12:08
Playing at the international level is beginning to be a way of life for Bry McCarthy.
The West Virginia women’s soccer senior defender has spent most of the last two years during the offseason with the Mountaineers as a time to compete internationally.
The Ajax, Ontario, native’s time with the Canadian National Team has allowed her to play with some of the best in the business all over the world.
"I started playing with the Senior Team two summers ago. We had a camp in D.C.," McCarthy said. "Then, I traveled to Norway to play the Norwegian National Team. Since then, I’ve been in and out of camps. I’ve been to Italy for a residency camp. I’ve been to two Cyprus Cups. I’m just trying to keep ties with my national team."
Just this past winter, McCarthy was called to practice with the Canadian National Team once again, as it prepped for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Unfortunately for McCarthy, the Olympics require a 21-player roster, and the preseason Hermann Trophy Watch List member was the last defender cut before the summer games.
Despite not participating in Olympic competition, McCarthy said the experience of practicing with the Canadians, who went on to win the Bronze Medal, was priceless.
"It was awesome. It was a great experience," she said. "I played with players like Christine Sinclair – she’s in a league of her own."
In fact, Sinclair scored three goals against the United States in the semifinal match earlier this month – a match that saw the United States narrowly escape with a 4-3 victory in extra time.
"The intensity that Sinclair brings is so inspiring," McCarthy said. "Eventually, I would like to get back there and work with that team and see if I can be an impact for my country."
The inspiration Sinclair provided for McCarthy is just a minor part of the major learning experience the Mountaineer gained from practicing with the National Team.
"It helps me tons. It gives me international experience," McCarthy said. "Playing at the collegiate Division-1 level is great experience. But internationally, you play against the top players in the world, not just in America. That gives me an edge when I come back here."
What was the biggest difference between play at the collegiate level and at the international level?
"Probably speed of play," McCarthy said. "Everything is so much faster, so much crisper. We still hold ourselves to high standards at WVU. It’s just incredible what some of these players can do at the international level."
At the very least, McCarthy was able to build a relationship with some of the best soccer players in the world.
"I still keep in contact with a lot of the girls," she said. "Those girls work so hard, and playing with those players was a great learning experience."