Sports Spotlight - West Orange Times & Observer: Taylor Gonsalves

Senior standout Taylor Gonsalves has been a leader all season for the Ocoee varsity girls soccer team.

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  • | 6:29 p.m. January 12, 2017
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Wins haven’t come easy for the Ocoee varsity girls soccer team this season, but that hasn’t stopped senior forward Taylor Gonsalves from staying positive and leading by example for her teammates. Gonsalves, a captain for the Knights, has been a leader for coach Kayla Gans’ team on and off the field this winter.


Given that the team hasn’t won very many games this fall, what is your outlook on your senior season so far?

I don’t see the losses as a negative. I mean, I like being around the girls; and I like playing soccer. I just take it one game a time.


Is being positive something you intentionally try to do?

Of course — I try to be as positive as possible, wherever I am. I think it’s better for me, and it’s better for everyone.


What’s different about club soccer from high school soccer?

I like playing club — it’s more fast-paced ball than high school, and your teams aren’t as stacked.


Tell us a little bit about your soccer background.

I’ve been playing soccer since I was 6, and I started at the (Ocoee) Rec Center. My dad coached me, and it was coed teams. My dad started a club teams and I was on it — I was the only girl on an all-boys team. Only like two years ago did I start playing on girls teams.


What did you learn from playing soccer against boys for so long?

You learn how to body, definitely. Boys, the game is definitely more fast-paced. The ball moves quicker on the field, it moves back-and-forth faster.


Who is your favorite soccer player and why?

My favorite soccer player is Cristiano Ronaldo — that’s my husband. He’s Portuguese and I’m Portuguese, so he’s my favorite. … He’s very technical. He’s kind of a leader in the soccer world. I like his style of play.


Which soccer team is your favorite?

Real Madrid.


Since your dad was your coach for a number of years, what is the best piece of advice he gave you?

He said “If you put your mind to it, anything can happen.”


Wherever you end up attending college, what are you hoping to study?

I want to study psychology and health sciences — I think I’m going to double-major. I want to be a physician’s assistant.


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