Athlete of the Week: Natalia Gonzalez


Fia Cooper

For freshman Natalia Gonzalez, her goal is to make the girls varsity soccer team at La Salle.

Dakota Canzano, Editor

Since kindergarten, freshman Natalia Gonzalez has developed a passion for soccer, one that she plans to pursue at the high school level alongside her twin sister Sofia Gonzalez.

Gonzalez and her sister have been playing soccer together since they were six years old. This all began at Laurelhurst with their neighborhood team, but eventually, they switched over to play at North East United Soccer Club when they were eight. 

“Soccer is the one sport I sort of stuck with all these years,” Gonzalez said. 

During her first year of high school, Gonzalez hopes to make the varsity soccer team while also striving to maintain her grade point average. In addition, she wants to try new sports such as tennis, track and field, and volleyball. 

Outside of her athletic life, Gonzalez is also interested in joining the Speech and Debate team and taking Anatomy and Physiology with science teacher Mr. Ryan Kain.  

Gonzalez came from Winterhaven, which is a kindergarten through eighth grade school located in Portland. 

Gonzalez has grown even closer with her friends from Winterhaven ever since joining them in the transition to high school and during practices on the soccer field. “It’s nice to be able to play more soccer,” Gonzalez said, “especially since our club season started late and the practices have been smaller.” 

Club soccer has allowed Gonzalez to travel throughout many different regions of the Pacific Northwest, as well as places like Utah and Nevada. 

This year, Gonzalez’s high school practices are split between fitness and technical work. Her favorite part about soccer is getting to be with her friends and just “being able to kick the ball around,” she said. 

Talking about soccer practice and the coronavirus pandemic, Gonzalez said that “it’s a little hard wearing masks especially if it’s a lot of running or fitness, but it’s pretty nice going to practices two times a week.”

Reflecting on her progress in the classroom this year, Gonzalez said her first semester assignments have been “a little difficult because sometimes they are very specific. It’s just sort of hard [to] convey what [the teachers] want us to do.”

Moving forward, Gonzalez doesn’t know if playing soccer at the collegiate level will be her main focus, but as of right now, playing a game on the turf field during her high school career is something she can’t wait for.