Rose on Rise in First Season at UF

October 11, 2017

Deanne Rose made a splash at 2016 Summer Olympics for Canadian National Team. She has been doing the same for the Gators.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Having to play in Savannah Jordan‘s spot after her four straight All-American campaigns could be a tough assignment.

Scoring one goal in your first seven collegiate starts might be hard to overcome.

Then again, not all forwards are Deanne Rose.

35587Rose made her name in the soccer world before she ever stepped on the field for UF’s 10th-ranked soccer team, which hosts Florida State on Thursday night.

The true freshman from Alliston, Ontario, had seven goals and five assists for the Canadian National Team in 28 games, with 18 starts. She was named Canada’s U-17 Player of the Year in 2016.

At the 2016 Olympics, then-17-year-old Rose had a goal and the game-winning assist in the bronze medal match against Brazil to become the youngest goal scorer in women’s soccer Olympic history.

She has even received praise from Christine Sinclair, a fellow Canadian who has the second most goals in international play.

45398 Florida freshman Deanne Rose played in 28 games with Canada’s National Team prior to suiting up for the Gators this fall. (Photo: Adler Garfield/UAA Communications)

Deanne Rose, she’s what [18 years old] and she’s like the fastest person in the world, so maybe keep an eye on her, too,” Sinclair said at a press conference in June before Canada played Costa Rica.

Rose just needed some time to get used to college life in her brief time at UF.

“Now the team is starting to get comfortable with me and I’m starting to get comfortable with the team,” she said.

Rose has started all 13 games and leads the team with 18 points and eight goals. She scored two goals on Sunday in Florida’s 3-0 win over Vanderbilt, her third multi-goal effort in the last six games.

Rose is starting to look comfortable, which means opposing defenses are anything but that.

“Coming out with a freshman, nobody knows how to defend her or how she really plays,” fellow Gators freshman Lauren Evans said, “so teams are kind of on their toes when she first runs out.”

One thing that has changed for Rose recently has been her ability to put the ball on frame.

In the first seven games, she only placed six of her 16 shots on goal. In a recent three-game stretch, Rose put nine of 13 shots on target, and with her accuracy improving, she scored five goals over that span.

“It’s finally coming through, the execution. It’s nice to be scoring,” Rose said. “Scoring goals is kind of like relieving pressure.”

During a 3-0 win over Alabama on Sept. 24, Rose had a couple chances that she was not able to finish.

Evans told her when she came out of the game in the second half: “I feel like you are trying to make the goals look too pretty, next time you get in front of the goal, just have composure and pass it in.”

Less than a minute after Rose went back into the game, she received a through ball at the top of the box and beat the goalie near post.

There was no better time for her to start finding the back of the goal.

The Florida offense was struggling with only two goals combined against Washington, Portland and Ole Miss (UF won two of three over that span).

As conference play opened, someone needed to step up and take some pressure off the defense.

Rose has done that and then some. Her five goals in conference play are tied for first in the SEC with three other players. Rose may be appearing more on the stat sheet, but Coach Becky Burleigh is not surprised by her recent surge.

“I thought she was playing well before this,” Burleigh said. “I think she’s done a better job finishing.”

Burleigh and Evans both said Rose is a good leader.

“She’s a great teammate, very easy to play with and communicate with,” Burleigh said.

Rose is not even halfway through her freshman year, but she has shown the ability that she can be something special for this program over the next four years.

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