Defenders who can read the game, commit to a challenge and contribute offensively are hard to come by, but the CMU head coaching tamdem of Cara Isaak and Lianna Bestvater believe that their most recent signing can fit the bill.
The Blazers have received the commitment of Sturgeon Heights Collegiate’s fullback, Faith Barnett. The defender’s youth career tells a story of being both a on-field leader and a player confident to walk into a team and make an instant impact.
Barnett has been part of her high school’s indoor soccer program since Grade 9. Among her successes was scoring a hat-trick in a win over Westwood and using her lethal, long throw-in to count an unsual goal versus Fort Richmond.
Those kind of big impacts have also highlighted her time at the youth club level. As an under-age player at u15s, Barnett scored the match-winner in a 1-0 final to help her team to a WYSA Championship. She was also part of a Cambrian Cup gold medal performance while playing as a guest player. Slotting into the established backline, Barnett was part of a defensive unit who dug in for a cup win.
“Faith has a strong soccer background and is an all-around great athlete,” said Isaak. “She will be an important addition to our team, especially in defending, where her athleticism and tackling ability will be big assets.”
Most recently, Barnett has captained St. Charles (Derksen) for club indoor soccer and laced up her outdoor boots with Sturgeon Community Centre for the summer season.
“I excel the most as a central defender,” said Barnett, when asked where she feels she performs best. “Having a full view of everyone on the field shows all the opportunities that we can create from the backend. I can play physical and I’m confident to make important tackles. I’m not afraid to switch it up when possible and carry the ball to create more opportunities for the forwards or mids too.”
Barnett and the Blazers are excited to kick on in their first recognized season as part of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Conference this Fall. As part of the Manitoba Colleges (MCAC) conference, the 2021 season will mark the first opportunity for the MCAC winners to advance to a national stage and challenge for a CCAA banner. This year, the CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship will be hosted at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario with representatives of the six CCAA regional conferences (PacWest, ACAC, OCAA, RSEQ, ACAA and the MCAC) along with the hosts and a wild-card team gathering to compete for a national title.