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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Freshman Barker racking up recognition for women’s soccer

James Bartlett
Since the beginning of the 2022 season, Barker has picked up two pairs of Rookie of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week awards from the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Sophia Barker, Suffolk University Women’s Soccer’s newest goalkeeper, has racked up four weekly awards from the Commonwealth Coast Conference so far this season, a journey marked by hard work and dedication. 

For Sophia, being an NCAA athlete was not always on the radar. 

“I didn’t really think I was going to play soccer in college until my junior year, since I only started playing goalkeeper my freshman year of high school,” said Barker. “I decided to join my club team my sophomore year…I was really falling in love with goalkeeping. I reached out to a few D3 schools, hoping to find one in the city.”

The first time Barker visited Suffolk from her hometown of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, she knew it was where she belonged. 

“I fell in love with Suffolk. I loved the city,” Barker said. 

In Barker’s case, success was not instantaneous, but rather the product of years of learning and hard work. 

“Every piece of the way has been an accomplishment. I’ve done lots of goalie training, had many goalie coaches, soccer camps, like SoccerPlus and Star Goalkeeping Academy and just kept working on something each week, finding what I need to work on. It’s the little accomplishments,” Barker said. 

When asked what advice she would give to her younger self, Barker said to trust the process.

“I’d tell myself that it has to come from within, and keep believing in yourself…In high school, I was never the athletic kid, I was always on the bench throughout high school, my sophomore year I was on varsity, then my junior year I was on JV again,” said Barker. ”It was a whole rollercoaster…It’s really just having the growth mindset, which I think I did, but just believing in it more, then it’s just day by day and that it will happen.”

The rookie goalkeeper’s value does not end at her performance in the net, which includes 540 minutes of playing time and four shutouts. According to her coaches and teammates, Barker’s presence on the team goes beyond the saves.

“Sophia’s hard work and commitment to improving is why she is where she is today. Despite any setback, her work ethic and positivity has stayed consistent.  Her dedication to the team and diligent self-reflection is the reason we have seen vast improvements in her from the start of the season until now,” said Suffolk Women’s Soccer Head Coach Ellie McDougall. “But most importantly, she is a great teammate and person both on and off the field.” 

Barker’s work ethic and character have made an impact on her teammates as well. 

“Sophia has been an amazing addition to our team this season. She works hard day in and day out, and always gives 100% at practice and in games. She is also very eager to learn and improve. She brings such a positive, fun vibe to the team,” said team captain Alicia Bibi. “The other girls on the team and I can always count on her for a laugh. I am so excited to see how she develops and improves over the course of the seasons and her years at Suffolk. I have no doubt she will continue to do big things for this team.”

Since the beginning of the 2022 season, Barker has picked up two pairs of Rookie of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week awards from the Commonwealth Coast Conference. These accolades represent yet another product of the goalkeeper’s work ethic and dedication. 

“I was so happy,” Barker said. “It was something that I would see last year that Allison Rodrigues would get, and she was definitely my role model…It was so amazing to see that all the hard work has paid off.”

To Barker, this effort was not a solitary one, and neither is the honor of the awards. 

“The award says my name on it, but it’s really for the team. It’s really for my defense, my midfielder and my strikers. The whole team, my coaches. It’s everyone who helped me get that. It says my name on it, but it’s for the whole team,” she said.

Follow Maren on Twitter @Maren_Halpin26


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About the Contributors
Maren Halpin, News Editor | she/her
Maren is a sophomore print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office, you can usually find Maren in Suffolk’s orientation office or at an on-campus event. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 
James Bartlett, Multimedia Editor | he/him
James Bartlett is a senior studying print and web journalism. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, James has a strong interest in photojournalism and new journalism tools such as podcasting and user-generated content. James is currently a Web Journalist at WHDH Channel 7 and has previously worked at and the Newburpoty Daily News. Follow James on Twitter @James_bartlett8 Email him at [email protected]

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Freshman Barker racking up recognition for women’s soccer