Greenbrier High senior Bay Daniel wants to make up for lost time this season.
The soccer standout started by leading the Greenbrier girls team to a 17-0-1 record and a Region 2-AAAA title heading into today’s state playoffs first round.
Daniel’s success comes after a 2011 season when a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee during the second game sidelined her for the year.
“It was really hard,” said Daniel. “I struggled sitting on the bench, to not be able to help my teammates out. I came back this year wanting to make up for everything. It definitely made me work harder.”
The work has paid off to the tune of a team-high 23 goals and 14 assists, topping her sophomore season when she recorded 20 goals and six assists.
Daniel started playing soccer as a child and still loves the sport.
“I tried all the other sports and it just worked out,” she said. “I’m really good with my feet. I love to work out, and as much fun as running is, it’s just better to have a ball at your feet while you’re doing it.”
Though helped with a lot of practice, Bay’s footwork also comes with some innate ability.
“As much as it is natural, if I wouldn’t have worked as hard as I did, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good with my feet,” she said.
That willingness to work is also fueled by her competitive nature.
“The thing about Bay, she loves to compete,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick. “She loves to win.”
Along with teammate Carly Ray, Bay recently accepted a scholarship to play soccer at the University of South Carolina. But she hopes to take her soccer skills to an even bigger stage.
“I would love to go further if the chance is available,” Daniel said. “If the opportunity opened itself up, I would take it.”
Getting ready for the collegiate level will be the next step during the summer.
“We just received our summer workout program and that is really, really tough,” she said, adding that she and Ray will train together. “I have my work cut out for me because I have a ways to go to get ready for Carolina.”