Norwell’s Kristi Vierra and Tabor’s Cat Barry have shown their soccer prowess on the local stage. But the South Shore duo now will have a chance to make their mark at the national level as part of the inaugural Allstate All-America Cup July 31 in Orlando, Fla.
Vierra and Barry were among 40 Allstate All-American players selected from a pool of 120 athletes nationwide to participate in the girls’ soccer match.
With women’s soccer undergoing a worldwide revolution following the recent World Cup victory by the US women’s national team, the event presents another opportunity to help grow the game domestically.
“It’s important we don’t lose sight of why we watch women’s soccer,” said Barry. “A critical part is making sure the focus on women’s soccer doesn’t stop and it’s a really exciting opportunity to help grow the game.”
The 40 girls selected will have the opportunity to train under a pair of former US women’s World Cup winners in Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain. They will oppose each other as coaches on either side.
“It’s kind of surreal to think about,” said Barry. “These are people I’ve looked up to as idols and greats of the game who have paved the way for soccer in the US, and to be able to learn from and interact with them is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Vierra and Barry, who completed their junior seasons, are gifted attacking players who put together 30-goal seasons last fall and have already committed to Division 1 programs. The two have also played with and against each other since childhood.
“We started out on rival teams,” said Vierra. “She was South Shore Selects and I was Scorpions. She changed over to Scorpions for about four years and now she plays for NEFC and I’m on Selects.”
A Division 3 State Champion, Vierra’s 30 goals and 10 assists were among top marks in the state. Vierra, who has 72 career tallies, is committed to Wake Forest for soccer and will play for Team Foudy at the All-American Cup.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized like that,” said Vierra. “Just to be grouped with this group of players, I’m super excited to be playing in this game. Once I’m down in Florida, I want to prove that I’m meant to be there.”
Barry, a three-sport athlete in basketball and lacrosse, led the ISL in scoring for a second-straight season with 33 goals and 11 assists, shattering Tabor Academy’s all-time scoring record now with 60 career goals. She also broke her own single-season scoring record set as a sophomore with 26 goals as a junior in 2018.
Committed to South Carolina, Barry will play for Team Chastain against Vierra and future Gamecocks’ teammate Brianna Behm from Williamsburg, Va.
“I’m obviously beyond thrilled,” said Barry. “I’ve played soccer my whole life, it’s a testament to the years of hard work I’ve put in and it doesn’t happen without my family or coaches supporting me. Just to be recognized like this is something you dream about as a kid.”
The All-America Cup will be played in the afternoon before the MLS All-Star Game, with the boys’ game kicking off at noon followed by the girls’ game at 2 p.m., with both matches televised on ESPNU. The 80 participants will be recognized in a halftime ceremony at the MLS All-Star Game.
Dan Shumlan can be reached at email@example.com.