Annie Bobbitt was one of the top players in the nation coming out of high school in Jacksonville, Florida. She led her school, St. John?s Country Day, to two state championships in soccer, as well as a couple in track and field. She played for the Ponte Vedra Storm growing up, but Annie won the national championship with the Clay County Sol in her final season of club soccer. Bobbitt was ranked in topdrawersoccer.com?s 2011 Top 100 National Players, so she was coveted by colleges across the country.
?There was a couple schools I was really looking at, but right when I walked on the University of Florida campus I knew it was for me,? Annie explained. ?My Mom was a Gator, my grandfather was a Gator, and at first I thought I wanted to get out of Florida and to experience something new, but I went to a UF-FSU football game, I loved the atmosphere and told my Mom I just needed to take a visit.?
The visit really sealed the deal for Annie. After talking to the head coach Becky Burleigh and feeling the dynamic of the team, Bobbitt loved the style of play and atmosphere of the school, and they even had the major she wanted to study. She?s a double major in Spanish and psychology?and wants to go to physical therapy school after playing.
Not many players can say they are internationally tested, but Annie had the opportunity to represent the Stars and Stripes in South America. Bobbitt was selected to participate in the Olympic Development Program, an elite soccer academy designed to groom players to play for the national team. From there she was part of the U-17 national team that traveled to Argentina to play ahead of the U-17 World Cup.
?It was definitely a great experience,? Bobbitt said. On wearing the national team shirt Bobbitt explained, ?It?s a feeling that?s kind of indescribable. The fact that you?re getting to represent your country, especially playing overseas, and getting to play other countries, it?s just so much more.?
Unfortunately for Annie, as well as the team, her time at UF has been bothered by injuries. After a promising freshman campaign, Bobbitt’s sophomore year was cut short due to a partial MCL tear that severely limited her down the stretch and through the postseason. This past season, her junior year, she suffered a concussion early on in the season which sidelined her for a couple games. After finally returning and getting some minutes she experienced a grade 3 ankle sprain which kept her out even longer.
Bobbitt?admitted, ?It was definitely hard to keep myself positive and keep myself going.? However, she wouldn?t give up, adding, ?I just kept thinking about the team, I was going to give 100% effort and do whatever I could to help benefit the team.?
Finally healthy and training hard again, Annie has high hopes for next season, saying, ?I would really love to go out with a bang. I want our team to play really well, and play the style of soccer we?re known for. I would love to win the SEC and win the national championship, but at the same time, we?re just trying to focus on what we?re doing now ? working on one step at a time.?