22 Aug Florida State soccer player Gabby Carle took home gold at the Olympics
Winning is a habit for redshirt senior Gabby Carle.
Coming off an undefeated ACC Championship winning season, the Levis, Quebec native was called up for international duty in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After Canada defeated rivals Sweden 3-2 in penalties, Carle became just the fifth Florida State student-athlete to win gold.
The Canadian national team member has been enjoying the beautiful game since she was five years old. Carle’s commitment to excellence led her to come to Tallahassee in 2017 as part of an elite freshmen class. Head coach Mark Krikorian, who has been with the team since 2005, has led FSU to two national championship berths, winning one in 2018.
“We knew the moment that Gabby came on campus that she was a big talent,” Krikorian said. “We look at her and realize that she has a bright future. Her opportunities with the national team and as a pro following her career here are going to be plentiful.”
Years before her time at Florida State, Carle’s talent was quite noticeable. In 2013, at age 14, she got her first invitation into the international scene as part of Canada’s U17 training camp.
Her senior team debut came two years later against Mexico in 2015, leading to her being named the best junior player in the province of Quebec before capturing the senior award the following year.
In 2018, Carle earned her captain’s armband for the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U20 Championship, where she led her side to a semifinal berth against Mexico. Carle tied it up 1-1 in the 80th minute to extend the match into an eventual penalty shootout. The captain nailed her penalty, but it wasn’t enough to advance.
Canada’s failure to qualify for the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup disappointed Carle, but her nomination to Canada’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster showcased her perseverance.
Both Carle’s international and collegiate careers have molded her into the sound fullback she is today. She committed to FSU in 2017 and started her freshman year as a wide midfielder before transitioning into the backline.
“I started out as a winger and they made me into a fullback,” Carle said. “I think it’s thanks to FSU that I’m still on my national team and doing so well on the international stage.”
Carle has played over 20 games each of her four years representing the Garnet and Gold, only ever missing games due to international duty. Carle’s excellence on the field doesn’t give her an excuse to take days off in the classroom as she earned the 2018 NCAA Women’s Soccer Elite 90 Award, given to the player at the College Cup with the highest cumulative GPA, while also earning a spot in the College-Cup All-Tournament team.
The Canadian star has been a model of consistency, as she was one of the only current 17 other student-athletes who’ve bolstered a 4.0 GPA throughout the entirety of her collegiate career. Carle’s number wasn’t called upon as much in her time in Tokyo this past summer, but the valuable experience still formed her.
“It was a great experience,” Carle said. “It was a different Olympics because of COVID, but everything was worth it because we won gold. I’m so lucky to have teammates in Canada that are so experienced. I learned so much during that tournament.”
Going into her final year as a ’Nole, Carle has a wide-open future but remains focused on the present, which entails pursuing her degree in Exercise Physiology and helping FSU capture the glory that they so narrowly missed last year.
“I’m very motivated,” Carle said. “I think all of us want to make it and win the national championship this year. We have our whole team back but we also have so many new players that are going to add so much to this team.”
With so much enthusiasm surrounding Carle’s fifth chapter in Tallahassee, the veteran defender knows leaving Florida State will be a bittersweet moment once it comes.
“It’s been a great ride,” Carle said. “I mean, I wasn’t supposed to get this season, so I’m just so thankful to still be here. Last year I was definitely not ready to leave. This year will maybe ease my way out.”
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