Newsome junior soccer standout Karina Gutsche has committed to the University of Florida, becoming part of the Gators' incoming class for 2011.
Gutsche said that she had been in contact with the Gators since her sophomore year, and was very happy to be joining her former Wolves teammate goalkeeper Kendall Graham as a member of the Gators. Gutsche had a pair of impressive tournaments for club side RSL Florida over the holiday break, and is playing for the Florida Olympic Development Program side in the Region III championships this weekend in New Orleans before returning for next week’s Class 5A-District 8 tournament with Newsome.
“I’m really excited about it,” Gutsche said. “I started talking to them around my sophomore year, and (Graham) told me I should go for it, so I e-mailed them, and it went really well, obviously.”
Gutsche had been considering other schools, including South Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Saint Leo and Rollins, but said the combination of the quality of school and the soccer tradition at Florida made her decision a relatively easy one.
“It was soccer and school,” Gutsche said. “School always comes first, but it was good that their soccer program is very good as well.”
In addition to Graham, Florida also has former local standouts Jo Dragotta (Gaither), Alicia Nalley (East Lake) on its current roster, with former Sickles standout Caitlin Howard part of the graduating senior class.