State Colleges

Scottish connection boosts Barry women’s soccer

Soccer standouts Christy Grimshaw and Amanda Traynor often drop the word “wee” in conversation, as in “just a wee bit.”

They will also, if you ask them, explain that men in their country usually wear kilts for celebratory events and not as an alternative to khakis.

Grimshaw and Traynor are freshmen midfielders from Scotland, and both are immediate starters for Barry University, which opens this season picked to finish second in the Sunshine State Conference.

In Barry’s exhibition opener this season, a 3-0 win, Grimshaw and Traynor each had a goal. Grimshaw also had an assist — and it was to Traynor, naturally.

“So far, so good — they’ve shown way more than I thought they had,” said Barry coach Denise Brolly, who is also from Scotland and used her connections there to recruit the duo. “They are only going to get better and better.”

Grimshaw and Traynor were rivals in Scotland but have become roommates and best friends in Miami.

Brolly saw their highlight videos and then brought them down — on separate trips — so that they could see the campus and also display their soccer skills.

Both players gladly made the 4,000-mile trip.

“Miami is basically a done deal before they come,” Brolly said of the allure of the city. “Their parents came down, and as soon as they stepped foot on campus, they were very comfortable that I would take care of their girls.”

Brolly said she was pleasantly surprised with the fitness level of the two freshmen, especially given the fact that it is usually “freezing” in Scotland and brutally hot in Miami.

Traynor said she prefers the sun — she plays with gloves, heavy shirts and a hat back in Scotland — but said it has still been an adjustment.

“At first, I was in shock,” said Traynor, a marketing major. “I said: ‘Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?’ But now that the exhibitions are over, I’m getting used to it.”

Grimshaw said she and Traynor have already been to South Beach and want to go to a Miami Heat game.

Clearly, the girls love their new home away from home.

“I couldn’t really say no to playing in Miami for four years,” said Grimshaw, a business management major.

Brolly said the two freshmen have a strong fighting spirit when battling for possession.

“I expect that of the Scots,” Brolly said proudly. “They are doing me proud and their parents proud.”

The other Scot on the team is assistant coach Danny Wheelan. But the team is way more than just its Scots. Barry returns eight starters, including senior goalie Becca Rogers (Pines Charter High School), who was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Barry, which won the SSC 2013 regular-season title, is also led by senior defender Ashley Harlan, junior midfielders Lavinia Nkomo and Tamara Vuckovic, and senior forward Lauren Manna.

Another player to watch is senior forward Jojo Frigerio, who is originally from Italy.

She scored 27 goals for Iowa Western Community College in 2012 before redshirting last season.