Vaila Barsley: “I am absolutely delighted to be in the squad for the Euros.” (Photo courtesy of St. John’s SID)
Former St. John’s University defender Vaila Barsley was named to the Scottish women’s national team for UEFA Women’s Euro 2017.
She was one of 22 players and eight defenders selected to the squad, which will compete in the tournament next month.
Barsley, whose mother was born in Scotland, was called to train with the national team in April before being recalled earlier this month following an impressive debut.
“I am absolutely delighted to be in the squad for the Euros,” she said. “It’s the highest honor a player can get to not only represent their country, but to do it in a major tournament. I am excited to meet up with the squad and finalize our preparations for what will be a fantastic tournament.”
She spent four years in Sweden playing for Eskilstuna United. During her stint in Sweden, Barsley helped the team elevate from the country’s second-tier league to the top league before the end of her first season. In 46 career matches, Barsley tallied eight goals as a center back.
A defender at St. John’s from 2006-09, Barsley was a member of the program’s first NCAA Division I Tournament team in her senior season. The Great Yarmouth, England, native collected several accolades during her time in Queens, including a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Northeast Region second team selection, All-Big East third team honors and NSCAA Freshman All-American third team recognition following a stellar rookie campaign in 2006.
“Making the Scotland roster for the 2017 European Championships is a phenomenal accomplishment for Vaila,” St. John’s head coach Ian Stone said. “Her unmatched passion for the game was evident in her leading our program to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 2009. She has toiled away in Sweden since then, as the true professional that she is. We are all elated that she has earned this fantastic opportunity. Red Storm fans can be proud of Vaila wearing her heart on her sleeve as she plays at this tremendously high-level event.”
Barsley served as a graduate assistant for the 2010 season. During the summer of 2012, Barsley played for the Long Island Rough Riders and was named to the W-League team of the year, which led to a spot on Peamount United in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. That’s where Barsley spent the rest of 2012 and 2013 before signing with Eskilstuna United in 2014.