There are few college scouts searching for soccer talent in Bermuda. And, for any who do check in on the island, it’s likely they wouldn’t have much interest in a girl who missed her entire 12th-grade season because of a right knee ACL injury.
Given her injury, Dominique Richardson enrolled at Barry University with the intention of studying finance and one day returning to Bermuda to perhaps own an insurance company.
Soccer, though, was never too far from her mind.
She nagged the coaches at Barry until they gave her a tryout. But before she could make the team, she ruptured her left ACL.
“After my second surgery,” Richardson said, “I doubted if I could ever play again.”
Richardson, 21, not only returned to the field, she has become a starter and a standout.
“She is one of our top performers if not the best,” said Denise Brolly, Barry’s first-year coach who had spent the previous six seasons as a Bucs assistant. “It’s amazing to consider how far she has come — it gives me goose bumps.”
A 5-8 midfielder, Richardson has led Barry to a 10-3-1 record and its first berth in the Sunshine State Conference tournament since 2004. The tournament begins Nov. 5.
Richardson has started all 14 of Barry’s games and is third on the team with 10 points on four goals and two assists.
Scheduled to graduate in May, Richardson is not sure if she will return to the team next year. But Brolly made her intentions clear.
“She better come back!” said Brolly, 32, who at age 15 made Scotland’s national team as one of its youngest members ever.
Richardson has come a long way from a player that Brolly at first thought would be suitable only for the scout team.
“She is so athletic, quick and dynamic,” Brolly said. “When there are five minutes left in a game, I’m looking for Dominique to make runs because I know she will be the only one with anything left in her. She never gives up.”
Hurricanes golf coach Patti Rizzo said Kailey Walsh is the longest player on her team, hitting the ball 280 yards off the tee.
“She bombs it,” Rizzo said. “Once she gets her short game better, she will kick everyone’s butt.”
Walsh, an economics major from Boca Raton who is interested in studying law, had considered Miami, California and Georgia out of high school. She chose Georgia but soon discovered she wanted out.
“I wanted a school with smaller class sizes and more of an academic focus,” Walsh said. “Being close to home was an added bonus.”
Rizzo said Leticia Ras-Anderica has the best short game among Canes golfers.
“Leti is an amazing artist — she’s studying art in school — and she has that imagination that most of the rest of us don’t possess,” Rizzo said. “I think that helps her short game, because she has amazing feel from 100 yards in.”
Overall, Rizzo said her team has to work on its putting and speed control on the greens.
Rizzo said her girls tend to be overly aggressive and sometimes miss a four foot putt by three feet past the hole.
Coralia Arias, a 5-9 freshman from Ecuador, won the Pat Bradley Invitational with a 6-under-par score of 210. It was the third-lowest score in the 36-year history of the event and a promising sign for an athlete who as a youth competed in soccer, track and karate.