Carin Jennings-Gabarra

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Carin Jennings-Gabarra
Personal information
Full name Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra
Date of birth (1965-01-09) January 9, 1965 (age 54)
Place of birth East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1980–1983 Palos Verdes High School
1983–1986 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Southern California Ajax
National team
1987–1996 United States 117 (53)
Teams managed
1987 Westmont College
1988– Harvard (assistant)
1993– Navy
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra[1] (born January 9, 1965),[1] née Carin Jennings, is an American retired soccer forward. She earned 117 caps with the United States women's national soccer team from 1987 to 1996 and was awarded the Golden Ball Award as the best player at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. In 2000, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She currently coaches women's soccer at the United States Naval Academy.

Early life and education[edit]

While born in East Orange, New Jersey, Jennings-Gabarra grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California where she attended Palos Verdes High School from 1980 to 1983. During her four seasons playing high school soccer, she scored 226 goals and was a four-time High School All-American and a three-time California Most Valuable Player.

After high school, Jennings-Gabarra attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she played on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos women's soccer team from 1983 through 1986. In 1984, Jennings-Gabarra set the NCAA Division I women's soccer single-season records for goals (34), goals per game (1.55), points (80), and points per game (3.64).[2]

She finished her college career holding numerous NCAA Division I women's soccer records including 102 goals scored, 1.29 goals per game, 60 assists, 0.76 assists per game, 264 points, and 3.34 points per game.[3]

She was named as a second-team All-American in 1984 and 1985 and a third-team All-American in 1987.[1] She graduated from UCSB in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Gabarra was named the school’s Athlete of the Decade[1] and in 1991 the university inducted Gabarra into its Hall of Fame.[2]

In 2000, Soccer America selected Jennings-Gabarra to its College Team of the Century.

Playing career[edit]


Jennings-Gabarra played with The Los Angeles Blues (now the Southern California Blues) and later with Southern California Ajax of Manhattan Beach, California. In 1992 and 1993, Ajax won the USASA National Amateur Cup.[3] Jennings and defender Joy Biefeld-Fawcett both were members of the Manhattan Beach club women's soccer team Ajax in the late 1980s and early 1990s and routinely played at Columbia Park in Torrance, California.[4] In 1991, Ajax won the U.S. women's amateur championship.[4]

In 1993, Los Angeles United of the Continental Indoor Soccer League drafted Jennings.


Jennings-Gabarra’s fame rests on her achievements with the United States women's national soccer team. During her ten-year career, spanning 1987 to 1996, she earned 117 caps and scored 53 goals.[5][6]

1991 World Cup[edit]

During the early 1990s, Jennings-Gabarra was part of the national team’s "Triple-Edged Sword". The term, coined by the Chinese media during the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, included two other prolific scorers, April Heinrichs and Michelle Akers. Of those three players, Akers scored ten goals at the World Cup to claim the Golden Boot, while Jennings-Gabarra added six as the tournament’s second leading scorer.[4] Jennings helped the U.S. national team win the first women's World Cup.[4] She was also selected as the Golden Ball Award winner as the tournament’s top player.

1995 World Cup[edit]

In 1995, the Jennings-Gabarra and her team mates came up short in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, losing to Norway in the semifinals. Gabarra with her team finished third in Sweden 1995, with a 2–0 win over China in the third-place playoff match.

1996 Olympics[edit]

In 1996, the U.S. won the first women’s Olympic soccer tournament. Following the tournament, she retired from playing international soccer.

Matches and goals scored at World Cup and Olympic tournaments[edit]

Carin Jennings-Gabarra competed in Atlanta 1996 Olympics, China 1991 and Sweden 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments; played 16 matches and scored 6 goals at those 3 global tournaments. Jennings-Gabarra with her teams won a gold medal at Atlanta, finished first at China 1991 and third at Sweden 1995.

Goal Match Date Location Opponent Lineup Min Score Result Competition
China 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup
1991-11-17[m 1] Panyu  Sweden Start 40 1–0

3–2 W

Group match
49 2–0
1991-11-19[m 2] Panyu  Brazil Start 38 3–0

5–0 W

Group match
1991-11-21[m 3] Foshan  Japan {{{4}}}.

off 41' (on Hamm)

3–0 W

Group match
1991-11-24[m 4] Foshan  Chinese Taipei Start

7–0 W

1991-11-27[m 5] Guangzhou  Germany Start 10 1–0

5–2 W

22 2–0
33 3–0
1991-11-30[m 6] Guangzhou  Norway Start

2–1 W

Sweden 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup
1995-06-06[m 7] Gävle  China PR Start

3–3 D

Group match
1995-06-08[m 8] Gävle  Denmark {{{4}}}.

off 85' (on Rafanelli)

2–0 W

Group match
1995-06-10[m 9] Helsingborg  Australia {{{4}}}.

on 45' (off Manthei)

4–1 W

Group match
1995-06-13[m 10] Gävle  Japan Start

4–0 W

1995-06-15[m 11] Västerås  Norway Start

0–1 L

1995-06-17[m 12] Gävle  China PR {{{4}}}.

off 80' (on Rafanelli)

2–0 W

Third place match
United States Atlanta 1996 Olympic Women's Football Tournament
1996-07-21[m 13] Orlando, FL  Denmark {{{4}}}.

on 75' (off Hamm)

3–0 W

Group stage
1996-07-23[m 14] Orlando, FL  Sweden {{{4}}}.

on 85' (off Hamm)

2–1 W

Group stage
1996-07-25[m 15] Miami, FL  China PR {{{4}}}.

on 30' (off Milbrett)

0–0 D

Group stage
1996-08-01[m 16] Athens, GA  China PR {{{4}}}.

on 89' (off Hamm)

2–1 W

Gold medal match

Coaching career[edit]

Gabarra began coaching following her graduation from UCSB in 1987. That year, Westmont College, located in Santa Barbara, California hired her as its women’s soccer coach. After one season, she moved to Harvard where she was an assistant coach. In 1993, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, hired Gabarra as its women’s soccer coach. At the time the women’s team competed at the club level. She developed it into a competitive Division I NCAA team.

In 2000, Gabarra was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2003, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Gabarra married U.S. men’s national team player Jim Gabarra. They have two daughters and one son. Gabarra is a member of the U.S. Soccer Athlete Advisory Council, the U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council and the Maryland Physical Fitness Council.


World Cup Winner

  • 1991

Olympic Gold Medal

  • 1996

US National Amateur Cup

  • 1992, 1993

California Prep MVP

  • 1981, 1982, 1983

High School All American

  • 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983

NCAA Division I All American

  • 1984, 1985, 1986

FIFA World Cup Golden Ball

  • 1991

US Soccer Athlete of the Year

  • 1987, 1992

U.S. Olympic Player of the Year

  • 1987, 1992

National Soccer Medal of Honor

  • 2001

Hall of Fame


  1. ^ a b c "Supersport: Carin Gabarra". Ukiah Daily Journal. Ukiah, California. December 11, 1994. Retrieved February 12, 2016 – via open access
  2. ^ "DIVISION I WOMEN'S SOCCER RECORDS: SEASON RECORDS" (PDF). 2015. p. 4. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "DIVISION I WOMEN'S SOCCER RECORDS: SEASON RECORDS" (PDF). 2015. pp. 6–8. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Murashko, Alex (January 31, 1993). "Women's Soccer Teams at Home in South Bay. Club sports: Although fan interest remains low, participation remains high". Los Angeles Times. p. 20. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
  5. ^ "National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Bios". United States Soccer Federation. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  6. ^ "Carin Jennings Gabarra". Retrieved July 31, 2017.
Match reports

External links[edit]