A glance at the player statistics on the Northwest Louisiana High School Soccer website suggests Loyola’s Bailey Freeman is a senior leader for the Lady Flyers.
Freeman’s 25 goals scored rank third in the area, her 20 assists No. 1.
But Freeman, a talented forward who is The Times prep athlete of the week, is just a sophomore.
“That makes what she’s done even more impressive,” Loyola coach Mark Matlock said. “Her technical ability on the ball sets her apart. When she gets the ball on her feet, she never panics. If she doesn’t have anyone to pass it to, and she doesn’t have an immediate scoring opportunity, she can keep the ball until something develops. She’s very patient and lets things happen around her.”
Three other Lady Flyers have scored double-digit goals this year.
“Here at Loyola, we are very unselfish with goals and assists,” said Freeman, who has scored four goals in a game. “We have about four players on the top 10 in goals and assists, which nobody else has right now. It’s impressive. It’s not just me.
“We have a lot of talented people on our team. We are just blessed to be able to finish.”
Loyola (15-3-1, 4-0) started the season 11-0-1. After losing three of their next four, the Lady Flyers bounced back to win three straight heading into Wednesday night’s home game against North Caddo.
“We are going to have to stay focused,” Freeman said. “We want to get past the quarterfinals, because that’s something we haven’t been able to do in the last few years. But I think we have a really good chance to go far in the playoffs this season.”
Against Sacred Heart, Division III’s No. 1 team, Freeman scored both of No. 2 Loyola’s goals in a 2-2 tie. Matlock said Freeman’s level of play rises with the competition.
“She scores against everybody,” he said. “A lot of the players at the top of the scoring list are putting up five and six goals a game against some of their weaker district opponents. But the teams that we play in the top 10 in all divisions, she’s consistently scoring goals against the best competition in the state.”
For Freeman, playing soccer is about friendship and improving every day.
“My teammates are some of my best friends,” Freeman said. “I’m a competitive person. I like to score. I like to win. That’s what makes it fun for me.”