Texas midfielder Julia Grosso (7) battles for the ball with Texas State midfielder Jordan Kondikoff (13) at Myers Stadium on Sept. 7, 2018. [Stephen Spillman/for Statesman]

Soccer

Statesman Q&A: Texas’ Julia Grosso discusses her experiences at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Posted July 24th, 2019

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This summer, Texas sophomore Julia Grosso traveled to Paris. This, though, was not your ordinary vacation.

A member of Canada’s national team, Grosso went to France to participate in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup. According to the NCAA, Grosso was one of 11 collegiate athletes who made a World Cup roster. Three of those soccer players — Grosso, UCLA’s Jessie Fleming and Florida’s Deanne Rose — were Canadians.

Canada went 2-1 in group play, but it was bested by Sweden in the knockout stage. A midfielder, Grosso did not appear in any of Canada’s World Cup matches. Grosso, who shared the Big 12’s freshman of the year with TCU forward Messiah Bright in 2018, has still appeared in 16 matches with Canada’s senior national team.

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Recently, Grosso answered some questions from the American-Statesman about her experiences in France. Texas opens its 2019 season on Aug. 22 with a home game against Gonzaga:

You had previously said that attending one of Canada’s games when the World Cup was hosted by your country in 2015 was “the best feeling in the world.” How did it feel to be on the team this time?

It was such an honour to be amongst the players I looked up to in the 2015 World Cup. It was an even greater feeling being apart of the team and being able to go through that incredible journey with my role models.

What was the overall experience like this summer?

It was the best experience I have ever had. Everyone was so hard-working, resilient and passionate, which was amazing to be a part of. I learned so much from role models like Christine Sinclair, and it was a really exciting and unforgettable time.

What did you learn from Sinclair and some of the other veteran players?

I learned how they transition from game-to-game and how they deal with pressure before and after games. No matter if you win or lose, you have to be able to bounce back and be ready for the next opponent.

Is there a moment of two that stands out from the World Cup?

The moment that stands out to me is when we reached the knockout round. It was very exciting to make it out of group stage and continue through the tournament.

Where does Canada go from here?

I think we just stand together, keep our heads high and continue striving to get better. We will be back stronger.

Are you already looking forward to 2023?

Yes, I am definitely very excited for 2023, and to continue improving the areas we need to work on and sharpening our strengths.

During the past few weeks, gender equity has been a topic of conversation. Canada has different compensation rules than the U.S., but is the overall pay gap a concern for you as you look ahead to your professional career?

The overall pay gap is a concern because I do believe in gender equality and equal pay.

How can you apply what you learned this summer to your sophomore season at Texas?

I would apply the communication skills and the connection between the team to my sophomore season at Texas. The unity and communication with the national team was amazing, so hopefully (I will be) implementing what I learned and saw to our team!

Your coach at Texas also played for Canada in the 1995 World Cup. Since your team reached the knockout round and Coach (Angela) Kelly’s was eliminated in group play, will there be any trash talk this year?

I don’t think so, but I may give her a hard time if necessary!

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