Local players prominent on women's soccer team

Local players prominent on women's soccer team

The Eastern Florida State College women's soccer team heads into the weekend as the junior college's No. 1 team in the country.

And for the first time, half of the starting lineup grew up and played soccer in Brevard County.

"Look at it this way, since the inception of the team in 2010, we have never had a starter from Brevard County and now we have six when everyone is healthy," Eastern Florida State College women's soccer coach Jeff Carr said.

The Titans are 3-0 on the season and four area players have started and been critical to all three of those wins.

Eau Gallie High graduate Ali Tosches has started every game up front and has a goal and six assists already.

Melbourne High's Morgan Miller has a goal while playing the holding midfielder position while high school teammate Jocelyn Williamson and Viera High's Emily Bodi are starting defenders on a defense that has given up just one goal this season.

"If we didn't have the local girls right now, we would be in a heap of trouble," Carr said. "They are making huge contributions for us and they are all freshmen and stepping up and playing right from the start."

Tosches and Bodi took a bit of a chance and came to Eastern Florida State College as walk-ons but by the end of preseason camp they had earned a scholarship.

"I wasn't on scholarship, so I had to prove myself in the preseason. But my mentality was to give it all I got and show them that I deserve a spot," Bodi said. "It has worked out but it was hard. It helped having so many girls that I grew up with around me and playing with them. This is like my second family so it helped a lot."

The group has played with each other and against each other ever since they were starting which has helped them gel as a group.

"It's really cool, we used to compete against each other in club and high school but coming and working together has been easy because we are all friends. We have built a strong connection," Miller said. "I grew up in Melbourne and I have seen the program and how well it is run. It has always been a good program and so it wasn't a hard decision for me, I want to be part of the best."

And Miller knew the program's history and want to be a part of making more history.

"Winning a national championship is always in my mind, I came in and it is a goal that I want to achieve. They have been there every year and I want to be part of the team that actually wins it," Miller said.

This weekend will be big for the Titans who travel to Rochester, New York to play a couple of top 10 teams in the country. On Friday afternoon, the Titans will play No. 6 Monroe College and then on Saturday they play No. 10 Monroe Community College before opening the Region 8 Conference season next week.

And coach Carr thinks Satellite's Alexis Peri and Merritt Island's Keli Lindquist are close to returning from injury and will slide into the starting lineup once healthy giving the Titans six local starters and eight Brevard County players on the roster.

"The reputation of Brevard County soccer is so strong, you have players all over the country representing Brevard County, not only in the collegiate level but professionally now. It makes it really nice and we have some really good high school teams as well as some really strong club programs," Carr said. "I also think it says a lot about us, we are now a destination. Before I think people didn't realize how good we were and so they didn't come here. You can get better here, you can compete for a national championship and move on to play at a really high level if you buy into what we are doing here. We have players at every level including the highest level in the country so they understand if they work hard they can go anywhere."