Eastern's Barry sets national field hockey record

Alana Barry has 68 shutouts.
Alana Barry has 68 shutouts.
Posted: October 12, 2011

It was a magical moment in South Jersey field hockey history.

National field hockey history, too.

About 5 p.m. Tuesday on Cherokee's field, Eastern goalkeeper Alana Barry shattered the national high school career shutouts record by blanking the Chiefs, 10-0, in an Olympic Conference American Division game.

The shutout was the 68th in Barry's four-year career and 10th of the season; it eclipsed the national mark of 67 shutouts recorded by Haley Exner of San Diego's Scripps Ranch High School in 2003. Barry has nine regular-season games to play plus postseason tournament action.

"I'm surprised by this," she said. "I never thought it would happen."

Barry said she wished that the game had been more competitive, but she'll take the national record, which she never thought was possible when she became Eastern's starting goalie as a ninth grader.

She faced no shots Tuesday, and Eastern peppered Cherokee keeper Michelle Casl with 19 shots.

"My defenders today were Madison Jung, Erin Hoag, Gianna Perrone, and Stephanie Byrn, and they have been a huge part of this record-breaking thing and I couldn't have done it without them, or the players before," Barry said.

Exner went on to become Indiana's all-time winningest goalkeeper. Reached at Rutgers University, where she is the field hockey team's goalkeepers coach, Exner said she's pleased that Barry has committed to Iowa because that means she'll play in the Big Ten Conference.

Exner worked with Barry last spring in the Futures Olympic Development program for 10 sessions.

Asked whether Barry reminds Exner of herself, the 5-foot-10 coach said, "We have the same stature a little, and her style is explosive with great footwork.

"She is a very athletic goalkeeper, has size, and communicates well. She has presence on the field."

The Vikings' defense, consisting of a senior and three juniors, has allowed six goals all season. The defense had been stellar when Barry was a freshman. In fact, it has been superb along with the offense since coach Danyle Heilig took over the program in 1999.

Each year since then, the Vikings have won the state championship, and they are likely to capture their 13th consecutive crown in November.

"I'm excited for her, the team and the program," Heilig said of Barry's accomplishment. "It's an amazing achievement for Alana, and it's well deserved. She has worked hard for that. She has been consistently good for us in the cage over the last four years.

"Alana is the final link in that defensive unit, which starts at your forward line and goes all the way back, so she's an important piece. But everyone in front of her is important if not more important."

Eastern 7 3 – 10

Cherokee 0 0 – 0

Goals: Austin Cuneo 5, Meredith Kalberer 2, Carly Celkos 2, Emma Johansson.

Saves: E- Alana Barry 0; C: Michelle Casl 9.

Eastern senior Alana Barry talks about setting the national shutouts mark in high school field hockey.


Contact staff writer Bill Iezzi at 856-779-3826 or biezzi@phillynews.com.

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