TAMPA – Abby Bravo was sure she didn’t want to play college soccer.
The Tampa Prep senior defender had been on a visit to a Division I school and didn’t like it. Too much work. Too much pressure.
But when Bravo kicked off her senior season with the Terrapins, she changed her mind.
“I didn’t think I missed it, but the moment I started playing again, I just fell back in love with it,” Bravo said. “I’d totally regret it if I didn’t play in college.”
Her on-and-off recruitment ended Wednesday when she signed with Florida Southern.
Bravo stopped playing club soccer with the Clearwater Chargers to break away from the game. After her high school season started and she realized how much she loved the sport, she rejoined the club in December – very late in the recruiting process.
Bravo did well enough at a showcase tournament at Disney to attract some college recruiters – including Florida Southern. That was enough of an opening for Alex Daley.
Daley, a senior defender, had been committed to the Mocs since May, and she began to recruit her Tampa Prep co-captain.
“I guess I told her how much I loved it, told her how much I loved the coach,” Daley said. “She didn’t want to go far away, either.”
After Bravo visited Florida Southern, she bonded with the coaches and the atmosphere enough to see herself continuing her soccer career there. The fact that Daley signed with the Mocs on Wednesday didn’t hurt, either.
“I’m so excited,” Bravo said. “We’ve already been together for four years. The next four years are going to be great.”
They were joined by Michael Spezza, who signed with Florida Atlantic.