Blakelee Steeb | Echo
Taylor's women's soccer team continues to climb the ladder in the national polls. After racking up three more wins in the past two weeks, they moved up from No. 17 to No. 16, matching the highest ranking in the program's history.
The Trojans already proved they should have ranked higher than No. 22 in the preseason polls, but last Saturday they capitalized on the matter and defeated Aquinas 1-0.
Despite their opponents, aggressive and physical style of play, the team focused on controlling the game and playing the way they have practiced.
According to sophomore Danielle Toren, the team's methodology is speed to the goal. Each girl is determined to make quality passes towards their final destination - the goal.
As the seconds ticked through the first half, both teams had difficulty scoring. Although the ball remained on the Trojans' offensive side, the Aquinas goalkeeper made some confident saves and kept Taylor off the scoreboard.
Going into halftime, the Trojans were determined to avoid retaliating with physicality. The mentality to rise above that style of play was effective, as midway through the second half Toren scored her first collegiate goal.
"The goal was a beautiful header from Danielle Toren off of a long direct kick expertly placed by senior Megan Kammer," said head coach Scott Stan. "We could have scored another goal or two, but that is timing. However, the ladies are generating attacking opportunities."
Toren's goal was the only one that was scored in the game for both Taylor and Aquinas. The Trojans were able to walk away from Turner Stadium with yet another victory, making their record 6-1.
Every game has a competitive atmosphere, but even more so during conference matchups. Stan believes the Crossroads League is the deepest and toughest conference in the NAIA, and the team is ready to rise to the challenge.
The team will kick off their conference season against Grace next Saturday. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Turner Stadium.
Tomorrow, the team will have another opportunity to add a win to their record.
"It's our last time to practice everything we have been working on in practice before it really starts to count in conference next week," said junior Lauren Engelkes. "I am excited to see how far we can go."
They will compete against Georgetown at 11 a.m. for their last non-conference game of the season.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"