Photo Credit: Gator Zone
Amplified Soccer had the amazing opportunity to spend some time during pre-season with the Florida Gators Women's Soccer Team. During this time, we interviewed and met with players and coaches from the team. Interviews with head coach, Becky Burleigh, and defender, Claire Falknor, can be found in the September issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete. Below is an excerpt of the Claire Falknor interview.
Claire Falknor Bio
Named to U.S. Under-23 team for 2015 Four Nations Tournament played in Norway at end of May. Appeared in two matches, starting versus Sweden.
2014: All-Southeastern Conference second team selection…Started every match, playing entirety of 19 matches…First 11 starts at center back and played left back at South Carolina and Kentucky…Provided assist on Savannah Jordan’s game-winning goal versus No. 22 Georgia…Led Gators with average of 89.0 minutes per match…Member of SEC Academic Honor Roll.
2013: Scored a goal at Mississippi…Registered assists from outside back position at South Florida, versus Oregon State and No. 23 Kentucky…Season-high minutes (90) came versus Arkansas…Started last 18 matches of season at right back…Member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
2012: Scored Florida’s first goal of 2012 season versus Miami…Appeared in every match but one…Turned in top minutes (89) in scoreless tie at then No. 14 North Carolina…Member of 2013 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
High School: On ESPN’s Class of 2012 Forwards to Watch list…Varsity starter for Centerville High School, coached by Don Skelton…Centerville advanced to the 2009 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I semifinals…Led team in combined goals/assists as a sophomore with 17 goals and 14 assists.
Club: Attended U.S. Under 18 National Team training camp in Sunrise, Fla., in December of 2011…Ranked among ESPN’s Top 150 College Prospects list…Among TopDrawerSoccer.com’s final 2012 Top 100 National Players list.. Played for the Ohio South State Olympic Development Program (ODP) team from 2008-2010…Traveled to Portugal and Spain with ODP Region II team in 2010…Participated in 2009 and 2010 Thanksgiving Interregional…Member of Ohio Elite Soccer Academy for two years and coached by Doug Bracken and Tim Lesiak…Club team won state championships in 2010 and 2011, also placed third in 2010 Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) National Championships…Named to the 2010 ECNL Winter Showcase All-Event team.
Major: Fitness and Wellness.
Amplified Soccer: What are some specific things you do when training on your own?
Claire Falknor: I like to work on a lot of footwork stuff. Skill based. I’ll set up cones up in a line weave in and out of them. I also like to work on distribution. Sometimes I start with balls at the top of the 18 with two small goals stretched out on the corners as if outside backs were high and wide. Then I work on receiving it and playing it to the goals.
I used to be a forward and still like to play an attacking role, so I will also work on different techniques of curling and shooting the ball.
Amplified Soccer: How did you train by yourself when you were younger?
Claire Falknor: I always had the ball at my feet. I would weave in and out of furniture and find a way to get touches. I trained at least an hour a day. Sometimes, I would lose track of time and be out there for 2-3 hours. That still happens today.
The September issue includes the rest of this interview plus an article from former North Carolina Tarheel National Champion, Yael Averbuch, on her championship experience; an interview with Becky Burleigh from the University of Florida; articles on making the transition to college soccer and what an injured player can do to support the team. These articles along with many more await you! Content contributions come from some of the top professional training, nutrition, mental-game and fitness leaders in the industry. We know you’ll enjoy your experience.