By Wendy Sarubbi | March 4, 2011 1:38 pm

“Soccer is part of who I am,” says Bill Barker, the College of Medicine’s program assistant for Analysis, Planning and Accreditation, who assisted in the logistics for the recent LCME visit. And now, so is a state championship.

Bill, who started playing soccer in his teens, coaches the Oviedo High School girls’ soccer team. The squad recently won the state championship by defeating Vero Beach High School.

Oviedo had made it to the state championships three times in the last four years. But on their last two tries, they had lost in the finals. This year’s final game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation play, meaning each team received five penalty kicks. The kicks are one-on-one competition between the kicker and the goal keeper and the kicker usually has the advantage. But the Oviedo goal keeper blocked the last three Vero Beach shots, an almost unheard of accomplishment. The Lady Lions then responded with two additional goals to win in what Bill described as “an emotional roller coaster.”

The season had been tough for the team and their coach. Players had lost parents; Bill’s mother had died. Some of the best players had season-ending and other serious injuries. “This team was a very close-knit group of friends,” Bill said. “We had faced a lot of things together. This team definitely deserved to win the state championship.”

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