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Fayette County


Tomahawk Take: MHS alum Seiler looks back on college career

Florida redshirt-senior midfielder Gabby Seiler - 2017 Florida Gators soccer - Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey
Gabby Seiler left McIntosh as one of the most prolific athletes in school history. After two years at UGA, she transferred to Florida where she led the Gators to the quarterfinals this season. (Photo by Tim Casey)

It’s safe to say that there are not a lot of programs that produce like the McIntosh girls soccer program.

The celebratory sounds of 10 state championships still rain down from the rafters as people still talk about their rivalries with Starr’s Mill and Whitewater. The back-to-back run during the 2011-2012 seasons also comes up amongst locals when discussing the team.

As a result, the program has become a marvel for Fayette County and one that has drawn interest from many collegiate programs. Several players have gone on to have great careers, including University of Florida midfielder Gabby Seiler.

Seiler dominated from 2010-2013 as a member of the Chiefs. She was a two-sport star that won three County Player of the Year awards in soccer and basketball. Seiler was also instrumental in winning two state soccer championships (2011-2012).

One look at her stats and it’s clear why she was a prized prospect out of high school. The numbers suggested that Seiler could do it all.

She finished as the all-time leading scorer in the school’s basketball history (2,003 points), passing McIntosh great Jeff Shepard, and she collected 16 goals and 20 assists in her last season with the Chiefs.

She still dominated the pitch from deep in the heart of Gainesville, FL.

“My senior season went really well,” Seiler said. “I enjoyed being around my teammates and we grew a lot as the season went on.”

Seiler took her success from McIntosh and rode it to three All-SEC First Team selections in her career. She also was recognized as a third team selection on the 2017 United Soccer All-America team.

This season, she led Florida in assists and scored 6 goals as team captain. Seiler also collected 20 points and was fourth on the team in minutes, averaging 84.3 minutes per game.

Her successful season brought Florida to the NCAA quarterfinals against South Carolina. The Gators couldn’t pull out the victory, but for Seiler, the appearance was a great opportunity on a big stage.

“Making it to the quarterfinals was a really awesome experience,” she said. “Since I have been at Florida, we hadn’t made it pass the Sweet 16. So, getting that opportunity to play in the quarterfinals was a dream. It was awesome.”

The dream almost didn’t happen as Seiler started her career at the University of Georgia. She was a starter with the Bulldogs and scored 9 goals her sophomore season. The team was competitive, but she decided that she wanted to experience a different atmosphere.

She decided to transfer for her final two years of school. Florida appealed to her as it gave her an opportunity to stay in the SEC and still get a quality education.

Seiler celebrates a goal against Stanford. (Photo by Matt Stamey)

“I think at the end of my sophomore year, I wasn’t really growing as a player or as a person,” she said. “I kind of wanted to step out of my comfort zone and that is part of the reason I wanted to transfer to Florida. I wanted to test and see how I could grow.”

The decision was met with support from her family. Her dad, John, felt the move was beneficial in making Gabby the person she is today.

“For me as a father, to see her grow as a leader and a person, that is where I am most proud,” John said.

He also noted the change was important on the field as well. Seiler said that his daughter developed chemistry with the team and it culminated with a family atmosphere.

“I think it was truly amazing from my perspective,” he said. “Having her sit out a year probably was the best thing as it allowed her to transition and be a part of the team.”

Gabby agrees and felt the transition was natural. She admitted the opportunity to play at Florida was a life-changing moment in her career.

“My teammates and coaches made it easy as they were super open to letting me join,” she said. “They were so welcoming, and that was the reason I think I made the transition so quickly.”

The Gators finished 34-12-1 in the two seasons that Seiler played for the team. She totaled 7 goals and 24 assists in those games. For career, Seiler finished with an impressive 17 goals and 55 assists.

Now a graduate with a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications Management, Seiler has plans of pursing a Master’s Degree. She also hopes to make a professional soccer roster if it all works out.

“I entered the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) draft, and we are going to see where I get drafted and how things pan out,” Gabby Seiler said. “I think I do want to play professionally, and it all depends on what happens in January.”

Wherever she ends up, Seiler will forever be among the greatest athletes to come out of Fayette County.