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Nesbeth targeting more success with Florida State

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LeiLanni Nesbeth (13) celebrates winning the ACC Tournament with her Florida State University team-mates on the weekend
LeiLanni Nesbeth and a team-mate double up on a University of North Carolina player during Sunday's ACC Tournament final
LeiLanni Nesbeth with the ACC Championship Trophy after helping her team beat University of North Carolina in the final on Sunday

Sophomore LeiLanni Nesbeth credits a great team spirit for Florida State University’s success in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament final on Sunday, and is targeting more success in her final two years at the university.

Nesbeth had a hand in the first two goals scored by Clara Robbins and then scored the third herself as FSU took a 3-0 lead on their way to a 3-2 win over the University of North Carolina.

The Seminoles finished the season unbeaten after carrying their winning start to the regular season into the ACC Championships.

“Regarding the ACC final, I felt that as a team we played really well from the start of the game,” Nesbeth told The Royal Gazette.

“We’ve been training various set pieces and over time we’ve gotten more and more dangerous on these set pieces. So to be able to get a corner leading to an early goal was definitely beneficial.

“In terms of the assists, my team-mate Clara seemed to be in the right place when I got the ball throughout the game. She’s an incredible player, so when I picked up the ball for the second goal she made it really easy to find her and then it was obviously a fantastic strike from her.

“Regarding the goal that I was able to score, Clara again played a big part in it. She played a really good lofted ball into the box and I was just winging it really, dribbling, trying to get away from the defender’s feet The toe-poke seemed to be the best option at the time.”

Nesbeth, who spent two years at Bede’s senior school in Sussex, England before attending FSU on a scholarship, is looking to carry this season’s success into next season.

“My goals for my next two years at FSU are to firstly continue to grow as a player,” said the 18-year-old, who was Bermuda’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year in 2019.

“I have learnt so much and I have so much to learn in the future.

“Another goal is to simply just contribute to the success of my team in any way I can, whether that is with goals or just supporting the team on the sidelines. I just want to play my role the best way I can and hopefully contribute in some way to more championships in the future.”

Nesbeth is making a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic. In May 2018, the former Bermuda Under-17 striker, scored four goals to help Bede’s lift the Smith Construction Independent Schools Football Association Under-18 Girls Cup Final with a 6-3 win over Alleyn’s School.

Her goals after college include playing professionally.

“After college the plan is to, hopefully, go and play professionally,” she added. “I’m not too sure where exactly just yet, but definitely to continue to develop and play at the highest level possible.”

Nesbeth has recovered from a serious knee injury she suffered in September 2018 while playing for Brighton’s Under-23 development team, who she joined in 2017 while at Bede’s. She suffered damage to the meniscus cartilage and anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.

“I’m feeling good, the knee is feeling good and I’m glad I was able to get through the season with little problems,” she said.

“Now it’s just about doing little things for rehab, to maintain strength and things like that.”

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Published November 19, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 18, 2020 at 10:00 pm)

Nesbeth targeting more success with Florida State

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