Had Camie Barbera pulled off a hat trick two years ago, it wouldn't have been much of a surprise.

But when the freshman forward scored three goals for the Pima College women's soccer team in its season opener, there was something special about it.

Barbera was named the Arizona Daily Star girls soccer player of the year as a junior at Ironwood Ridge but until recently had been out of soccer.

It was her first game back when she pulled off the hat trick on Aug. 23. Now she leads the 4-0 Aztecs with six goals.

"We struggled a little in the beginning but at soon as she got on the playing field she came through as her usual self," Pima coach Kendra Veliz said.

The Star recently sat down with Barbera to see where she's been, how she ended up at Pima and what she wants to do from there:

Where she's been

Barbera sat out her senior season with the Nighthawks for personal reasons. Her sister Abbey still played.

"I had some family stuff going on so it was behind the scenes," Barbera said. "It was hard watching my twin sister go through it knowing that I could have probably made the difference (to win a state championship)."

Veliz noticed that Barbera, who scored 27 goals as a junior, wasn't on the team when she saw I-Ridge playing in the Brandon Bean Kickoff Classic early in the season.

So she talked to I-Ridge coach Sean Watkins, eventually got her phone number and called her.

That led to Barbera's return.

What she's doing now

Barbera is happy to be back on the pitch; she loves the physical intensity of the game. She scored five of her goals in the team's first two games.

"I'm glad that I'm here," Barbera said. "I really like my team. It's really a cool environment."

She wants to be Pima's go-to scorer and one of the top scorers in the conference while leading the team to nationals.

Barbera is working on her liberal arts degree. She wants to go to a tier 1 law school after she finishes her undergrad work.

What's next

Barbera said she's living life as it comes right now but she sees soccer beyond her time at Pima.

"At this point I think I would like to continue on to play in the Division I level," she said. "I had about eight offers or something and they'll come back if it's meant to be. ...

"I'm pre-law and I have seven years of school so I might as well get some of them paid."

She said she'd like to play in the Pac-12. As far as law school, she'd like to go somewhere in California.

Other sports

• In cross county, the women's team won the junior college portion of the George Kyte Invitational in Flagstaff on Saturday. Cienega's Nikki Regalado came in first for the Aztecs in 19 minutes, 32 seconds. Sophomore Jamie Shrader completed the 5k course 12 seconds later. In the mens 8k run, Aren Maxwell was the top juco finisher in 28:11.

• In football, the Aztecs (0-2) still have three consecutive home games as they hope to get in the win column. Pima's next game is Sunday at 6 p.m. against the Air Force Academy JV team.