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The most decorated student-athlete on Florida State’s campus returned in August with another impressive piece of hardware. Gabby Carle is also continuing her pursuit of another title and a degree this fall, too.

Carle is just 22 but she already has a trophy case that is becoming more and more impressive with each year on the soccer field. Her resume:

A bronze medal as a reserve for Canada in the 2016 Olympics.

A national championship with FSU in the 2018 Women’s College Cup.

A spot on the Canadian national team in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

A national-runner up with the Seminoles in the Women’s College Cup in May.

A gold medal with Canada in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Carle has also held off on pursuing a pro career as she returns to FSU for what will be a second senior season this fall as the Seminoles, ranked No. 1 in the preseason by soccer coaches, seek another national championship. And Carle wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I wasn’t supposed to get this season,” Carle said. “I’m just so thankful to be here. Last year, I definitely wasn’t ready to leave.”

Carle wasn’t ready to leave in part because of the difficult loss to Santa Clara in the national championship game in May. She’s back to pursue her next two goals: a degree in exercise physiology (she has a 4.0 GPA) as well as a national championship. Carle appreciates the opportunities she has in the classroom and on the field thanks to boosters who have not just funded student-athlete scholarships but also donated additional dollars for “super seniors” to stay in school as they earned an extra year to compete due to COVID.

“I am very grateful for my scholarship,” Carle said. “Not only did it allow me to play soccer with one of the best programs in the nation, it also gave me the opportunity to pursue a degree in exercise physiology.”

Carle has been a significant part of FSU’s success since arriving in 2017. For all of the attention on how many goals the Seminoles have scored through the years, it is the defense that has been consistently stingy — FSU allowed just eight goals in 16 games in the split 2020-21 season. Carle has been a steadying presence and will made her 80th career start on Thursday when the Seminoles defeated South Alabama.

“She’s continued to grow as a player and her attacking skills have gotten better and better,” FSU coach Mark Krikorian said. “Obviously she’s an outstanding defender.”

Krikorian said Carle’s talent was clear early in the recruiting process. But Krikorian also helped shape where Carle would play on the field, which has accentuated her strengths.

“I started off as a winger here and they made me into a fullback,” Carle said of her early move to a defense-first position. “I think it’s thanks to Florida State that I’m still on my national team and doing so well at the international stage.”

Carle flashes a broad smile when discussing her experience just weeks ago and helping Canada win gold. A long flight from Tokyo to Montreal helped Carle enjoy three days with family, a short visit but enough time to recharge before returning to life as a student-athlete at FSU. 

She also brought the gold medal for her FSU teammates to enjoy and share in the celebration.

“I don’t think Mark would have been very happy if I had not let him see the medal and obviously the whole team,” Carle said. “I’m so happy to be able to give them that. I’m very happy to show it to anyone that wants to see it.”

Carle is among the most accomplished college athletes at Florida State and arguably any college campus right now. But she’s also driven by individual and team goals in front of her, as a student and athlete.