Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tiffany McCarty has accomplished a lot in her four seasons at Florida State. The redshirt senior forward is the program’s all-time leader in goals scored, points and shots. She’s been a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist twice, and was again on the preseason watch list announced last month. She’s twice been named an NSCAA All-American.
But for all of the individual achievements, the thing that stands out most for the native of Laurel, Md. is what she and her teammates were able to accomplish together.
“I have to say getting to the Final Four last year,” McCarty said when asked of her proudest moment as a Seminole this week. “It was my first time since I’ve been here, and it was good to get our program back into the College Cup. Obviously, we were kind of disappointed when we lost to Stanford in the semis, so I’m just looking forward to getting another chance to get back there this year.”
That loss to a Stanford side that would end up winning last season’s national championship provided all the motivation McCarty and her teammates would need to make another run at a title this season. And with a perfect 9-0-0 record going into Thursday night’s ACC clash against North Carolina, which can be seen live on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. ET, the Seminoles appear on course to do just that.
“That’s been my personal goal since we lost against Stanford last year,” McCarty said. “I know that a lot of people on our team took that loss personally, and we’re just going to move forward and try to do the best we can.”
McCarty’s individual accomplishments at Florida State began fomenting before she arrived in Tallahassee, Fla. A member of the U.S. U16, U17 and U18 national teams growing up, McCarty also began playing in the W-League before she attended college. Making her debut for the Washington Freedom Futures in 2007, which allowed her to train and play alongside U.S. internationals such as Lori Lindsey and Becky Sauerbrunn, allowed McCarty to prepare for the rigors that college soccer would have to offer.
“When I first played with the Freedom, I was really young,” McCarty said. “When I got into the games, it was a good atmosphere to play in, and I just remember playing with Christie Welsh and a lot of the other older players who were on that team. It was just a great experience training every day, I think it really paid off, and I think I learned a lot while I was there.”
McCarty then spent the summer of 2011 with the Pali Blues, for whom she scored five goals in 14 games. Coming off a season-ending injury in 2010 for the Seminoles, McCarty headed west to try and sharpen her fitness, but got more than just games from her time in California.
“The season I played with them, they had some of the best players in the country,” McCarty said. “They had Stanford players there as well, so it was a very high level, and that was my first time being in California for that extended period of time. The environment was really good to play in, and I learned more about tactics as well.”
Entering the season the fittest she’d ever been, McCarty then delivered for the Seminoles that fall as they made their run to the College Cup. She has also been sharp this season, recording eight points in nine games, as FSU continues its pursuit of an undefeated season that McCarty thinks is achievable.
Undefeated or not, though, while the short-term focus remains on each upcoming game, the long-term view is fixed directly on ending her Seminoles career with a national championship.
“That would be amazing,” McCarty said. “I would really love that, it would be a good feeling and a good way to end my career here as well. That would be great.”