10 Oct Transfer Beata Olsson leads the Seminoles in goals scored this season.
Florida State women’s soccer has been at the peak of its powers for almost four years, thanks to the talented freshman class that head coach Mark Krikorian recruited in 2018. With some of those players nearing their final chapter in Tallahassee, the group continues its chase for one last hoorah.
Coming up just short in the College Cup final last May, the ’Noles returned to Tallahassee to begin their path towards redemption. This time around, they’ve been able to rely on a new face up front in sophomore UF transfer Beata Olsson. The Swedish international took her talents to the state’s capital after Florida’s 26-year head coach Becky Burleigh retired over the summer.
“This team is like I expected,” Olsson said. “Of course, they are great on the field, and that’s the main reason I got here, but they’re even better people. I feel like this team is not as great as on the field but probably greater off the field.”
Olsson excelled in her debut semester with the Gators, scoring seven goals and recording five assists in just eight games. The 5-foot-5 forward has since enjoyed playing in a system that allows her to freely roam and let her high-soccer intellect dictate her movement.
“This is a great setup for me,” Olsson said. “I really like that Mark gives me a lot of freedom. I have a hard time when I’m put in a box; I tend to limit myself. I feel like it’s a great mixture for me and I feel like I develop every training here and get a lot of support so that’s great for me.”
Coming into one of the nation’s top rosters, Olsson had to fight for her spot just like the rest of her teammates. However, it didn’t take long for her to assert herself as a key player for Krikorian’s well-oiled machine.
“She’s come in and she’s established herself very well,” Krikorian said. “She’s found a great playing relationship with the players that are around her, and I think that it’s another dimension for our team that makes us even harder to play.”
The Garnet and Gold came into the College Cup final as favorites after going undefeated and rarely allowing a goal, but the team’s lethal attack wasn’t as potent throughout the NCAA Tournament. The possession-based offense struggled to put the ball in the back of the net in their last three games of the season, only scoring once.
The Enkoping native has enjoyed receiving service from a squad that features five players with at least three assists. Olsson’s team-leading eight goals in eight starts prove just how valuable she’s become for the ’Noles.
“So many times the goal-scorers get the attention, but in this case, I’d say that the balls played are really the good ones,” Olsson said. “It’s very helpful. It makes all the difference and really, I would say that they create all the chances for me. It’s just my job to finish.”
Olsson scored in back-to-back games back in August, first against Alabama in her second start and then as a substitute versus South Alabama. Facing her former team two weeks later, Olsson earned her first brace of the season as well as the fourth spot in SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays with a ruthless bicycle kick. Her brilliance was once again on display on the road against the No. 9 Auburn Tigers, as she only needed 29 seconds to score on a first-time shot from outside the box.
Becoming a well-rounded forward has come thanks in large part to playing in Europe’s tactical pitches as well as experiencing the physicality of North American soccer. Olsson began her international career in her U-17 days and has now transitioned into the U-23s.
In only her second semester playing Division I soccer, Olsson has displayed marvelous poise and versatility that should cement her place in the starting eleve for the foreseeable future. While she sports the No. 30 on the back of her shirt, she’s a natural No. 9 on the field.
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