When Andy Morrison and the rest of the DePauw men’s soccer team get off the bus at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio for a pair of games, it will be like any normal weekend.
Except this one is a little different. Morrison, one of the top goal scorers is DePauw history, is setting off to begin his fourth and final season with the Tigers.
Through his first three seasons, Morrison sits just 12 goals shy of setting the schools record for goals in a career. That mark was set between 1998 and 2001 by J.R. Foster who found the back of the net on 48 different occasions in his four years with the program.
Morrison’s pursuit of that record began in 2011 as a first-year when he scored 10 times. He then followed that up with 12 his sophomore season and then a career high 14 goals last year.
Now as his time at DePauw begins to come to a close, Morrison has one more year to mentor the player who could be the next great goal scorer at DePauw, Julian Gonzalez.
As a first-year last season, Gonzalez matched all of Morrison’s tallies as he scored 14 times and helped the Tigers get to a 14-2-3 record.
“Andy has been an exceptional role model on and off the field for the last two years,” Gonzalez said.
“I have always had a great relationship with Julian,” Morrison said. “We have many dangerous forwards this year and I anticipate the goals to come in bunches.”
Another year of experience for both of those players will go along way to help the Tigers as they open their season this weekend with games against John Carroll University on Friday and Ohio Northern University on the following day.
The Tigers don’t have any history with either of the schools and are going into the set of games this weekend without much information. What DePauw does know is that the Polar Bears of ONU were ranked 23rd in the NCAA Division III preseason coaches poll.
“John Carroll and Ohio Northern are both going to be top ranked conference and regional teams, so we know we have to get maximum results to help us for the NCAA championship,” Gonzalez said referring to the need to bolster their resume come selection for the NCAA tournament.
Wins won’t come easy, however, as John Carroll went 15-4-1 a season ago and ONU is coming off of an 18-4 year.
Things don’t get any better for the Tigers as they then face road tests against Franklin College and Principia College before they finally take on Hanover College in the home opener on Sept. 10.
“I personally have scored more goals in my career on the road than at home,” Morrison said. “Also, last season, we had a better away record.”
“We do really well playing away games, I feel like we do better playing from more of an underdog role,” Gonzalez said.
Even with a difficult star ahead of them, the players are pleased to finally get the season started and have the games count for something.
“I am very excited to get everything underway,” Morrison said. “We have a special opportunity to do some things no other DePauw men's soccer team has done before us.”