By Kyle LoJacono
Wesley Chapel girls soccer player Kelsey Bare has committed to Saint Leo University.
“It’s really fulfilling,” Bare said. “It’s something that I wanted to do once I started to get better at soccer.”
The senior midfielder made the decision before Winter Break, becoming the second in the program’s 13-year history to commit to play in college.
“I didn’t really want to go too far away from home,” said Bare, a four-year player for the Wildcats. “I started talking with the Saint Leo coach (Ged O’Connor). … It was a recent thing that they wanted me to play there. I’d talked to the coach in the past, then I’d gotten some interest out of state. I wanted to stay in state, so when the opportunity came up I took it.”
Bare, who will study sports business, also set Wesley Chapel’s (5-8-2) single-season scoring record with 15, passing the mark set last year by former Wildcats midfielder Tess Gemberling.
Bare picked up soccer at age 7 with the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association (WCAA) recreation program. She also played volleyball, softball, flag football, basketball and track growing up.
“I started to have to narrow it down to the things I like the most as I got older,” Bare said. “I played volleyball and softball freshman and sophomore year too. … Soccer was always my No. 1 sport. It was just my passion.”
Bare is the third area player to commit to the Lions this school year, following Wiregrass Ranch senior forward Berlin Waters and Sunlake junior defender Cassidy Place. Bare said she and Waters have been close since being on the same WCAA squad.
“It’s really cool that we’re both going there, because she’s one of my best friends,” Bare said.
Wesley Chapel closes the regular season by hosting Tampa Catholic and Anclote Jan. 8 and 11, respectively. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.
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