After a career year last season, the senior has quieted down, but her performance at Boston College may prove to be the spark that sets off the last hurrah of Catriona Barry.
Despite No. 8 Duke women’s lacrosse’s narrow 17-15 loss Saturday, Barry was a bright spot as she led the team with four goals against the Eagles, matching her career-high for goals in a game. While it’s a shame that it happened in a loss, the hat-trick-plus-one is an encouraging return to form for the midfielder who was averaging 0.9 goals per game prior—admirable, but not anywhere near her 2020 pace.
While she is currently sixth in points and fifth in goals on the team, she finished the shortened 2020 season second on the team in both categories after averaging over two goals a game, though it’s hard to scorn Barry for not quite reaching those numbers in 2021. After all, she is sharing both the ball and minutes with some talented roster additions—No. 5 recruit Katie DeSimone and All-American grad transfer Gabby Rosenzweig both joined the team this year—and career years are always hard to match.
However, after not starting for the first time in her career in a recent game against Notre Dame, it seems Barry is making her comeback, an important development as the Blue Devils look to make a comeback of their own. The team finished ranked just 17th nationwide last year, but it has now made a legitimate push into the top 10 for the first time in years. That surge has been helped by the addition of Rosenzweig and DeSimone as well as the continued elite play of top-draw-specialist Maddie Jenner, and further contributions from Barry can only lift the team higher as it closes in on the regular-season finish line.
Scoring, however, is not the only way Barry contributes to the team. She leads the midfield group with poise and skill, and she has routinely been the next-highest in draw controls after the team’s dedicated draw specialists with the exception of last year. The most important thing she brings this year, though, is experience. As a four-year starter, Barry has seen it all and can help guide the team as they move forward.
That said, her four-goal performance this past weekend was exciting and could be a sign of greater things to come for the senior. Overall, Barry’s continued contribution to the team both in and out of the scoresheet is certainly an interesting storyline to follow with the last games of the regular season and the last games of her career on the horizon.