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The Antelope

Loper record-breaker golfing through her final season


Faviola Gonzalez has done nothing but break records in her time at UNK. When looking at the Loper women’s golf record book, it’s not hard to find Gonzalez’s name at the top of almost every category.

The Puerto Rican credits her patience, calmness and determination as some of the biggest strengths in her game. 

“I feel like I’ve developed my patience at UNK,” Gonzalez said. “I set myself goals that make me work harder over time and it has been a big virtue that I’ve developed here. I always have a good attitude no matter the outcome.”

Gonzalez’s dad got her into golf, which was introduced to him by a friend when he worked in the U.S. She was already involved in swimming and soccer at a young age, but then found her love with golf. 

“I started doing free clinics on Saturdays at the golf course,” Gonzalez said. “I liked it and knew that I wanted to make a career out of golf.”

Since her high school didn’t have a women’s golf team, she competed on the Puerto Rico national team playing in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

When she decided to go to college, she started looking for schools with a golf program and science major that would best suit her and UNK was on the list. She reached out and emailed coach Shawn Rodehorst. After talking for a bit, and Hurricane Maria knocking out communications for a month, Rodehorst offered Gonzalez.

It was a little hard to adapt to the cold Nebraska weather, especially in an outdoor sport, along with speaking a different language regularly.

“Even though I studied English my whole life, I was not used to speaking it all the time,” Gonzalez said.

 Since then, Gonzalez has flourished at UNK with the lowest career average at 78.34. Her average of 77.04 last season was the lowest ever for a Loper. She holds the lowest 18-hole score in school history with a 67 during her freshman year. The Lopers earned an MIAA tournament victory last season with her help, as she placed 13th.

With her sophomore season getting cut short due to COVID-19, Gonzalez decided to come back for her fifth season this year, after originally planning to graduate last December. 

“I really wanted to stretch out my career to play that year that we lost,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to meet more goals that I have planned.”

Since coming to UNK, Gonzalez has switched her major from physics to molecular biology. She will pursue a master’s degree at Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, and be a graduate assistant for the women’s golf team. 

“I really wanted to try out coaching,” Gonzalez said. “I felt like this would be the best opportunity to give it a shot and I can keep my studies too. I also plan on going to physical therapy school.”

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GRANT TIGHE, Sports Editor
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