MELBOURNE – Florida State soccer star Kristin Grubka received some incredible late-night news while home from school, and she wasn’t going to wait until the morning to share it.
“I don’t even remember what day it was, but I didn’t check my email until late at night,” she said. “That’s when the (message) came from (the United States Soccer Federation) telling me I had been selected for the Under-23 U.S. Women’s National Team. I couldn’t believe it. I ran into my parents’ room and woke them up, and it was late at night.”
Grubka, the former Melbourne High star, will fly from Melbourne June 7 to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in California for training camp through June 14.
It is the first time Grubka, who scored 112 goals and had 54 assists in high school, has been named to a national team at any level.
“I didn’t even know I was being considered,” said Grubka, one of only of three Seminoles (23-2-3), to start all 28 games in 2013. “I just work hard every time I step on the field; I try to do my best each day and try to be regarded as coachable.”
FSU coach Mark Krikorian wasn’t surprised.
“She has physical tools that are special, plus the determination, passion and drive to win all the top-class (matches),” he said of his 5-foot-10 defender. “She also has the right work ethic, and a lot of credit for that goes to Fidgi Haig (of Space Coast United) and her (club coaches in Brevard County). She came to us prepared.”
As a national team player, Grubka is likely to remain at the back, where she has excelled for the ‘Noles, whose defenders finished last season ranked in the top 25 nationally in goals against average and shutout percentage.
For her part in FSU’s success (a third straight appearance in the College Cup and a berth in the national finals), she was named to the NSCAA Southeast All-Region First Team, NCAA All-Tournament Team, All-ACC Second Team and ACC All-Tournament Team.
“It feels bittersweet for the season to start,” she said. “I want it to start, but I don’t want it to be my last. I love it here. I love this team … We’ll be just as strong (as last year).”
Krikorian is delighted that another of his players has been named to the nationals. Grubka was preceded by FSU alumnae Toni Pressley and Ella Stephan, both also from Brevard.
“You want to see progress in people’s play and that is what we see with Grub,” he said. “And she is a role model in school, out of school and for the team. She is such a great ambassador for our team and our program.”