Lauren Taylor | Echo
With a record of 12-7-1, the Taylor women's soccer team's season has come to an end in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals.
"This season had its ups and downs," said senior Nikki Zaino. "I think we had a lot of big wins and a few tough losses, but overall it was a fun year, and we all grew in different ways."
In the words of head coach Scott Stan, it was a season of high achievement, national ranking, good bonding, spiritual growth and hard competition.
In their first postseason game, the Trojans met Indiana Wesleyan in the tournament quarterfinals. At their previous meeting, the game ended with a 1-1 tie, with the Trojans outshooting the Wildcats 18-5.
The team entered this game with confidence and energy, supported by a large group of Taylor fans.
"We all came out on the same page," Zaino said. "We knew what we needed to do in order to win that game. . . . We all individually worked really hard for each other and executed the job that we needed to do."
Although Zaino led the team to the win that day with her spectacular pair of second-half goals, she shared the success was definitely due to a strong team effort.
Freshman Reyna Williams agreed, stating the team was able to connect everywhere on the field.
Following this remarkable 2-0 victory, the Trojans faced Marian University in the semifinals. The game had a rough start, with Marian scoring within the first minute.
"We didn't get down on ourselves after that first goal," Williams said. "We just came together after that goal and scored again."
Junior Bailey Zehr scored a goal for the Trojans in the 19th minute, bringing the game to 1-1.
The team continued to play well throughout the remainder of the game, but fell short in the end, losing 2-1.
Although this abrupt ending to the season is hard, the Trojans keep their heads held high.
"Even though the season ended sooner than we wanted it to, it was still such a good experience to be able to be with all those girls throughout the three months," Williams said. "The team made soccer fun."
Williams shared the hardest aspect of the season ending is seeing the seniors move on from this chapter of their lives. The team had three seniors this year: Amy Frederickson, Megan Kammer, and Nikki Zaino.
"It's always sad to say goodbye to girls that have played with you for four years," Stan said.
The Trojans will continue to train throughout the offseason, focusing on individual growth for each player and preparing for a successful season next year.
"Photograph by Brad Timmerman"