Just four years ago, Gabby Carle was in the stands as she watched Canada play the Netherlands in Montreal in the Women’s World Cup.
A native of Quebec, Carle felt that if she kept improving that she might have a chance to play in the 2019 World Cup in France. Now the Florida State defender is just days away from that opportunity.
Carle and Canada open up play on Monday against Cameroon at 3 p.m. on FS1. She will also participate in group play in games against New Zealand on June 15 and the Netherlands on June 20.
“In 2015, I was part of the U-20 team, and had recently been selected to the U-23 team going to the Pan American Games in August,” Carle said. “Although I didn’t really think about the next World Cup at that point, I knew if I performed well at the Pan Am Games, I could be seen by the senior coach.”
Carle began playing soccer at 5 and developed into one of Quebec’s top players in 2015 and ’16. She then chose FSU, a program that had won a national title under coach Mark Krikorian and was known beyond the U.S. Krikorian has long recruited soccer players with high academics to come to FSU.
“What attracted me to Florida State was how professional the soccer environment is,” Carle said. “I knew it was an environment in which I could learn a lot. Also, the weather did influence my decision a little.”
Carle was a valuable piece of FSU’s national championship team in 2018. She started 20 games for FSU, missing a chunk of the Seminoles’ season as she helped Team Canada qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
During FSU’s season she had a goal and four assists, but that goal was among the biggest of 2018 – the first ball that hit the back of the net against No. 1 Stanford in the Final Four. She was part of a defense that recorded 16 shutouts, including Final Four wins over Stanford and then UNC in the title game.
Carle is the only current Seminole who will play in the Women’s World Cup, but she joins a former FSU soccer star in France. Cheyna Matthews, who was a star on the 2015 national championship team and now plays professionally with the Washington Spirit, will play for Jamaica.
Matthews, a forward, and Jamaica open against Brazil on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on FS1 and the team will also face Italy on June 14 and Australia on June 18. After taking off the 2018 season because she was pregnant, Matthews returned to the Spirit in 2019 and had two goals and an assist.
“I am so overwhelmed with emotions!” Matthews posted on Instagram on May 22. “9 months ago I became a mother & this seemed way beyond reach. With a lot of hard work and an ARMY of support, a long time dream of mine is now a reality.”
Gabby Carle’s pool play schedule
June 10 vs. Cameroon, 3 p.m. on FS1
June 15 vs. New Zealand, 3 p.m. on FS2
June 20 vs. Netherlands, noon on FOX
Cheyna Matthews’ pool play schedule
June 9 vs. Brazil, 9:30 a.m. on FS1
June 14 vs. Italy, noon on FOX
June 18 vs. Australia, 3 p.m. on FS2