Annabella Bara looks to lead the Thunderbirds to playoffs and beyond with a breakout season.
Sophomore Annabella Bara, forward for the Mesa Thunderbirds women’s soccer team, has been on a tear thus far in the 2021 fall season. Bara has racked up a total of nine goals in seven games. She has already scored over half the amount of goals she scored last season with over half the season left.
Bara recorded a hat trick in MCC’s 6-2 win over Yavapai College in late August. But she said she wasn’t focused on just the hat trick, but the entire game.
“When I’m playing I don’t really think about how many anyone has scored. I just care about what the score is in the game,” Bara said.
Bara, a 2019 graduate of Saguaro High School, played varsity all 4 years of her high school career. In her 2018-2019 campaign she was named to the All-Conference 2nd Team for the 4A division as well as multiple Player of the Week honors.
Despite the isolation of the pandemic, Bara continued to grow as a soccer player, tirelessly running through solo drills such as ball touches and footwork drills to keep her skills sharp.
The T-Birds only have three returning girls from the previous season, which during the game can lead to difficulties.
Bara said, “It is weird trying to play with a whole new set of players, I feel like going on in the future as our communication gets better we’re going to be really good.”
Being named a team captain this year was a big step for Bara. She realizes games aren’t won with individual leadership.
“As the captain this year, I want to be a leader to the girls on the team, but also encourage them to be leaders on the field,” she said.
Though forwards typically look to score on the pitch, Bara hopes to improve her skills defensively to contribute more to the team. She also wants to improve moving without the ball to open up passing lanes as well as create space for her teammates. To give back and stay connected to the game while she’s not playing, Bara also coaches a U8 club soccer team, which she admits at times can turn a bit hectic. Bara is currently studying exercise science with the hopes of going into occupational therapy or sports medicine. In an ideal world she would like to be an athletic trainer, possibly within a soccer program.