Position: Forward Year: Junior
Junior forward Julian Gonzalez proved why he was DePauw’s leading scorer last season throughout Tuesday’s game. Fifteen minutes into DePauw’s season-opener against Hanover College Gonzalez netted his first goal of the year, which proved to be all the Tigers needed in a 1-0 victory against the Panthers. This week, The DePauw had a chance to sit down with Gonzalez to discuss his outlook of the game and this season’s team.
The DePauw (TDP): What does it mean to you to be able to contribute in such a big way in the first game of the season?
Julian Gonzalez (JG): It felt good. Preseason you always kind of worry about not being fully prepared, not being mentally and physically ready for the season to start. Coming out to the first game of the season and scoring a goal and having that first win was kind of a good confidence boost… personally and for the team just because of how much work and how productive our preseason’s been.
TDP: As a junior, does this season feel any different for you than the previous two? Do you still feel the nerves during that first game?
JG: The nerves are always going to be there, but as a junior I feel a little bit more comfortable. Freshman year when I would play, I’d always kind of second guess or always kind of think too much, but as a junior you learn to play the game.
TDP: Personally, how did you train and prepare over the summer for this season?
JG: I was working a lot this summer. It was difficult to train just because of the hours I was working. One player I worked with a lot was [junior midfielder] E.J. Moore. He and I would about two or three times a week just meet up and work, get some touches, practice the shots and passes. So that was good just because I felt like I already came into the preseason prepared, ready to start.
TDP: Any personal goals for the season?
JG: Like I told my coach, I try to have a goal and / or assist each game. Obviously that’s kind of a big task, but it’s something you shoot for every game, [taking] it day-by-day, and then game-by-game. You try to not think too much about your own personal goals because that gets in the way of the team. I try to help out as much as I can.
TDP: How do you feel about this season’s team? How does it measure up to the past two you’ve played for?
JG: The morale is high just because we know we can do something special this year. I think out of the three years I’ve been here, this has been the best preseason we’ve had, just based on talent and work ethic. I think we’re ready for [conference]. We’re looking forward to it. It’s now, ‘We know we can beat these teams and these teams think they can beat us.’ It’s that kind of mentality.
TDP: What is the outlook heading into the Quaker Classic this weekend?
JG: We’re looking to get two wins again. We should win every game we play, and so anything less than that is unacceptable in our view. For the freshmen, I think this weekend is a big opportunity for them to kind of step up and really start to show the talent they have.