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Monday, April 22, 2024

Fraine embraces role as Florida's primary keeper

Katie Fraine has tunnel vision. And while that may seem like a scary thought for the UF soccer team considering Fraine is the team's starting goalkeeper, it's the best thing possible.

That's because Fraine's vision has her looking only straight ahead.

"It's exciting for me to finally get to be the No. 1," Fraine said. "But it's also like in the back of my mind, 'You have to keep it.' I'm ahead and everyone else is on their horse trying to catch me."

Last season, Fraine split playing time with Meghan Berlingo. Fraine started 10 matches and played in two others. Berlingo started in 14 matches.

Berlingo transferred to Washington State at the end of last season.

"In the beginning, it was frustrating because you'd get your mind in it for one week and then out of it the next week," she said.

She said there were numerous factors in her decision to transfer.

"Basically, I wanted to explore my options and see if there was a team that I could make a complete impact on," she said.

Berlingo took it up with UF coach Becky Burleigh and the two talked it over.

"It was an uncomfortable situation for everybody," Burleigh said. "(Meghan) wasn't happy, Katie wasn't happy. We weren't absolutely happy, either."

It appears everyone is content now.

Berlingo said she keeps in contact with her teammates and there were no hard feelings.

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"I'm still best friends with all the girls," she said.

Having a two-headed goalie system allowed the team to excel (19-4-1 in 2008), but sometimes the goalies felt they were stalling.

Even Fraine's seven-save game against then-No. 4 FSU on Sept. 7 last season didn't save her from sitting the next game. She had six saves her next game but allowed two goals and believes had she not been sat out, she may have been able to capitalize on the rhythm from her FSU game.

"Before, I felt like sometimes I was playing a bit scared, just because I felt like, 'Oh, I can't make a mistake because then (Berlingo's) going to totally win it over,'" Fraine said. "I wasn't playing to my potential as much as I think I'll be able to this year."

One goalie's transfer is another's opportunity.

"That's a decision for (Meghan), it's going to work out in my favor and I wish her the best of luck," Fraine said. "I feel like I can finally play the way that I want to play."

Fraine seems to be at ease about being the sole No. 1 and feels her teammates trust her as the de facto starting goalie.

"For me this summer, it was about reproving myself and just hitting the nail in the coffin," Fraine said. "Making sure that everybody, hands down, knew that it was my turn and nobody could take this from me."

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