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Athlete of the Week: Austin Chang ’20

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Last Saturday, Chang put up one of the year’s most impressive performances by a Swarthmore athlete. The Morris Plains, N.J. native tallied 6 goals against Gettysburg, propelling his team to a 10-8 win. For his efforts, he was named Centennial Conference Player of the Week and USILA/BSN Sports DIII South Offensive Player of the Week. Chang’s performance was especially notable because this marked the first time the Garnet beat Gettysburg since 1985 (22 contests). On Wednesday in a 14-9 win against Muhlenberg, Chang continued his stellar play, scoring 3 goals, which increased his season total to 19.

MAX KASSAN: What is your prospective major?

AUSTIN CHANG: I am currently planning to major in economics and minor in computer science

MK: What adjustments have you made from high school to college?

AC: In college, I have been able to experience a kind of freedom that was very unfamiliar to me as a high school student. At first, I struggled with balancing my work, social life, and athletic obligations. However, over time I have been able to adjust by setting my priorities straight and focusing on just one thing at a time when I get the opportunity.

MK: You were just named Centennial Conference Player of the Week, how does it feel claiming that honor?

AC: It feels really great. Originally, I didn’t think that I was going to get a lot of playing time this year because of a great starting line at attack. But due to unfortunate circumstances, I was asked to step up and I am just grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the team in such a big way.

MK: What was going through your mind when you saw your sixth goal, which essentially clinched the game, go in?

AC: I was ecstatic. I was aware of how important this game was to a lot of the older guys on the team and especially Coach Gress. I was more than happy just to see their reaction at the end when we finally came out on top.

MK: What does beating a nationally ranked team like Gettysburg reveal about your team?

AC: Going into the game, I was a little intimidated by the fact that we hadn’t beaten Gettysburg in such a long time, but as the game went on I gained more and more confidence in our team’s ability to play our game and wear them down. After a few tough losses at the beginning of the season I knew that the guys were hungry to play a solid game against such a good opponent. I really think that the last few games, and especially this one, have been a turning point in our season. We have been able to buckle down and focus a lot better, eliminating unforced turnovers and unnecessary mistakes that would have cost us a win in the past. I hope we can keep up the hard work and continue our strong play against formidable opponents.

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