Liberty High School graduate Taryn LaBree continues to excel on and off the soccer field.
LaBree, who recently completed her junior season as a midfielder for the University of South Dakota, was named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s All-West Region Team. She was named to the third team.
“I didn’t even know until my mom (Tiffany Wierenga) called me and told me,” LaBree said.
“It’s pretty awesome, and it’s great recognition for the University.”
Labree is a three-year starter for the Coyotes. This past fall, she started 17 of 18 games, scoring two goals with one assist. She averaged 57 minutes per contest in helping South Dakota to a 9-7-2 record, 4-4 in the Summit Conference. The nine victories were the most for a Coyotes team since the program moved to the Division I level.
LaBree scored a season-best two goals in a 3-0 Coyotes victory over New Mexico State.
“I love it here,” LaBree said of the university and the town of Vermillion. “I love the Midwest. The people are super cool here. It’s cool to have a town support everything I do. It feels like home here.”
LaBree was the only South Dakota player to be named to any of the three All-West Region Teams.
She also earned first-team all-Summit League accolades and followed with an academic all-Summit League honor. She was twice named the Summit League offensive player of the week, marking the first time that a Coyote earned the honor twice in the same season.
“I love playing at the highest level there is,” said LaBree, who is majoring in criminal justice with a minor in Spanish. “Something about playing at the highest level was a dream for me.”
LaBree has started all but three games during her college career. On each occasion, it was because the Coyotes honored their seniors by allowing them to start.
“Next year, that won’t be an issue,” LaBree said.
LaBree’s mother travels several times each season to watch her daughter play in person.
“It makes it super special when she comes and watches me play,” said LaBree, who was moved to midfield this season after two years as a forward.
Last season, LaBree’s mother, Tiffany Wierenga, saw five games. Next year she plans to see more. South Dakota has away friendlies against the University of Colorado and Wyoming.
“It’s been hard being away and not getting to see her play as much, but it’s a short flight to Omaha and then an easy drive up to Vermillion,” Wierenga said.
LaBree has enjoyed a stellar college career. As a sophomore she was named second team all-Summit League and made the Summit League honor roll, as well as being named to the Summit League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence.
In 2016, she made the Summit League all-freshman team and was named to the Summit League honor roll.
LaBree was a four-year starter for Liberty, leading the team in points three times. She helped Liberty to the Class 5A state quarterfinals as a freshman while leading the team in goals and assists.