Rebecca Barry is one of the most decorated field hockey players to ever wear a Richmond uniform.
The 2015 graduate and three-time NFHCA All-America honoree earned numerous All-Region, All-Conference and All-State honors, while leading the Spiders to two NCAA tournament Appearances and two Atlantic 10 Tournament Championships.
Since graduating, Barry has continued to play the sport at a high level, and she took the time to speak with RichmondSpiders.com about her life after Richmond.
Where has life taken you since graduating from Richmond?
I am currently working in an accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, in my hometown of Limerick, Ireland, studying for a series of professional accounting exams and training with the Irish Senior Women’s National team. Before that, I did a one-year master’s program at Ulster University in Sports Management. I played field hockey there and was fortunate to win the Irish Senior Cup (biggest cup competition in Ireland) while there.
What has your journey been like with the Irish Women’s National Team?
I’m currently on the Senior women’s squad, which I joined this past July. I was named to my first ranking tournament squad for the World League 3 tournament in Malaysia (which is a world cup qualifying event). As of now, I am a newer member of the squad and am focused on gaining experience, learning from the more experienced girls and continuing to move forward and hopefully make a growing impact.
How have you developed as a hockey player over the years?
When I was younger I played primarily in the midfield, but as I got older, I realized I was more of a forward and that I prefer that now. I got a taste for playing representative hockey while playing for my province, Munster, and then for the Irish U16’s/u17’s/18’s. After gaining that experience, I knew I wanted to play on the Irish Senior Women’s team.
At Richmond, I was exposed to great facilities, professionalism and support. To achieve the success we did while I was there was excellent, and it was a great chance to develop my leadership skills and grow up while away from home. All of this helped me grow and mature on and off the pitch.
What does it mean to you to be able to pursue such a high level of field hockey?
It’s always been an aspiration for me to play at this level, so it’s a massive honor to get to wear the Green jersey. I would like to continue to grow in consistency and to push to play in and be successful at both a World Cup and Olympics. It’s been a challenging yet rewarding time since joining the National squad but I have learned and continue to learn a lot from my teammates. They are an incredible group.
How did your career at Richmond help you pursue hockey at such a high level after graduation?
The main areas were in strength and conditioning, as well as the importance of fitness. I got a taste for how fit you need to be while playing at the collegiate level, and learned how fit I could get if I worked hard enough. I realized this could really take my game to higher levels. Playing at Richmond also helped me develop my leadership skills.
Why did you choose to play collegiately at Richmond?
To be honest, it was more of that I couldn’t not do it. I was contacted and asked to come and play at Richmond, and I said why not? I saw an opportunity to play hockey day in and day out at an incredible academic university, and I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
What can you say to those field hockey players who have the dream to play collegiately and at the international level?
The difference at the international level comes in the lifestyle—how you choose to live. Social time right now is not high on my list of priorities at the moment! My effort is put into training as hard as I can, when I can, and eating well.
What else have you been up to recently outside of hockey?
I might go to the movies every once in a blue moon, but really I work, study and train. It’s a busy time right now and I’m accepting of that. If I want to achieve at the highest level at work, school and on the field, I need to work toward that as best I can.