Boonville senior Sariana Barbarotta will continue her soccer career after recently signing a letter of intent with Rockhurst University in Kansas City.
A four-year starter for the Lady Pirates, Barbarotta said she chose Rockhurst because they have a very good business school, which is what her major falls under. “I also like that it is small but still in a large city, so I can have the best of both worlds,” Barbarotta said.
Barbarotta currently has 10 goals and four assists this season, which ranks second on the team in both categories. Meanwhile, as a junior, Barbarotta finished the season with 20 goals and 18 assists.
Boonville Lady Pirates soccer coach Kaz Hazell said Sariana signing is a big moment. “Any kid that goes to college to play at the next level is great,” Hazell said. “I think that kind of exposure is good for the program and I am really excited to see what she does because she is a really talented kid. One thing about Sariana is that when you live here in Boonville soccer is not big to play year round but she plays all year so her touch is one when she gets into season. You can just tell that she puts in the extra work in the offseason because it shows once the season starts. The skill level is definitely there for her to play at the next level.”
Hazell should know. After all, she played for the Missouri women’s soccer team. Hazell said Barbarotta has a very good knowledge of the game as far as seeing the field as an attacking mid. “You have to be able to go at players but her skill level versus 1 on 1, shots from distance right and left footed is definitely there. She is a very versatile player.”
Although Barbarotta has played soccer since the age of eight, she said the biggest thing that she needs to improve on is her defensive skills. “I have always been focused on the offensive side of the game, but I am working toward fine-tuning my defense,” Barbarotta said.
By fine-tuning her skills for the Boonville Lady Pirates soccer team, the senior standout has earned about every honor imagineable while being selected all-conference, all-region and all-state as a sophomore and junior. Barbarotta was also selected to the all-district team as a sophomore.
The Tri-County Conference has only three soccer teams so it is not a conference sport at the present time.
Barbarotta said her short-term goal at Rockhurst is to play some varsity her freshman year. “At practices, I will work to make that happen,” Barbarotta said. “I also want to achieve a balance between academics and athletics.”
As for her long-term goals, Barbarotta said she would like to earn All-American accolades and just gain some lifelong friends from the game that I can turn to after college.
With the district tournament set to begin this week in Odessa, Barbarotta said the highlight of her career so far was winning the Ravens Futsal Melee-the tournament Boonville host-for the first time with her team. “After we had lost for so many years, it was amazing to see all those years of hard work come to fruition. It was truly a turning point for our team.”
Of course Barbarotta also had some good moments at Boonville High School. While she wanted to make it to the Final Four, Barbarotta said she thought the team had a chance her freshman and sophomore years, but unfortunately they faced some really tough competition and couldn’t quite make it there. “I was thankful for every moment we did have, however,” Barbarotta said.
In addition to Rockhurst University, Barbarotta also had interest in Washington University in St. Louis and University of Missouri-Columbia.
“My dad actually initially reached out to Rockhurst, and we organized a meeting with Coach Herdlick after he had seen some of my film,” Barbarotta said. “I visited campus and met with him, and I really like the school and Kansas City. Coach Herdlick has not seen me play in person, but he has seen substantial amounts of film.”
As for the biggest influence on Barbarotta playing soccer, she said it would have to be her dad-Jimi.
“He has been my coach and mentor for years,” Barbarotta said. “In the summers, he would train my brother and I everyday, giving us tips and helping us to become better players. In high school, he continued to coach and encourage me to take my game to the next level.”
Although Barbarotta can’t predict what the future has in-store for her for the next four years, she said the thing that she will miss the most about playing in Boonville is the friends she has made through the game. “I have played with a lot of these girls since I was 10 years old, and they are some of my closest friends. I’m not sure what to expect when I don’t have them supporting me on the field,” Barbarotta said.