Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Two former Texas soccer stars take field at Women’s World Cup

Jack Myer

Former Longhorns Chelsea Surpris and Julia Grosso are on soccer’s biggest stage as they represent their respective countries of Haiti and Canada in the FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted in Australia and New Zealand.

A midfielder, Grosso was the star of Canada’s Olympic gold medal-winning team as she scored the winning penalty kick to defeat Sweden. She was also a standout player for Texas, making the All-Big 12 team in each of her three years on the pitch. Texas soccer head coach Angela Kelly said Grosso’s selection to Canada’s roster was unsurprising.

“She was the star of the Olympics,” Kelly said. “Her career has just been on a huge ascension since she scored that winning PK. She’s done tremendous with Juventus and come into her own. She’s quickly growing into one of the starting midfielders and, if not one of the leaders, the playmaking leader in the midfield.”

Surpris has taken a slightly different career path but still found her way to the World Cup. Kelly said Surpris was always consistent and calm as a center-back for Texas. 

“She grew into a student of the game and is just really passionate,” Kelly said. “I’m really proud of her for figuring out ways to still stay in the game, finding places to play and continue to get more and more fit and grow her game.”

Canada and Haiti were closely matched with their opponents in their first group-stage games. In the challenging Group B, Canada tied 0-0 against Nigeria in its first match but eliminated Ireland with a 2-1 win in its second match. Grosso started both matches. 

In fourth place in Group D, Haiti fell in its first match with a 1-0 loss to England. Surpris did not see the field but hopes to debut against China on July 28. 

Grosso and Surpris’ accomplishments have highlighted their personal growth and brought attention to the fast growth of Texas soccer. Kelly said having multiple players on World Cup rosters shows that Texas soccer is a competitive program and stands among the best of the best. With Texas moving from the Big 12 to the SEC in the 2024 season, the Longhorns will soon face some of the best collegiate-level competition. 

“It shows the level of players that are coming through (Texas),” Kelly said. “The players that we have coming to the University of Texas are representing the youth national teams of their country. We have lots of talent currently on our roster, and it’s always exciting to see the graduated talent continue to have success.”

Grosso and Surpris are just the beginning of Texas soccer players competing in higher-level organizations. Several current players represent their national teams at the youth level; Lexi Missimo, Mia Justus, Trinity Byars and Jilly Shimkin are usual call-ups for the U.S. Youth National Team and Charlotte Blumel routinely plays for Germany. 

Canada next faces Australia on Monday, July 31, while Haiti will meet Denmark on Tuesday, Aug. 1, after its match against China.  

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