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XI Questions: Taylor Walsh

09/25/2005, 5:54pm CDT

UW freshman forward

Age: 19.
High school: Madison East.
Accomplishments: Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association All-State selection as a junior, honorable mention as a sophomore; two-time All-Big Eight Conference choice; two-time Madison All-City selection.
UW statistics: 2005 through Oct. 13 — 2 goals, 0 assists, 4 points. 2004 — 1-3-5 in three games, missed rest of the season due to a knee injury and received a medical redshirt.

I. Why UW?

I chose UW because essentially I've always wanted to be a Badger. I remember going to UW soccer camps when I was younger (the same ones that I worked at this summer) and really idolizing the UW players. I really like that I'm playing soccer in my hometown where my family and friends can watch me play.

II. Who is the toughest individual you have faced?

I'd have to say that my club and UW teammate Ann Eshun is the toughest defender I've played against. I've faced her at practice every day for five years now and she really pushes me and makes me a better player. She knows me as a player inside and out, so when I compete against her in practice she exploits my weaknesses and makes me improve and adjust my game.

III. What's the best soccer advice you've been given?

The best soccer advice I've ever received is "the best revenge is a shot on the goal." My dad reminds me of that every time I face a defender that gives little cheap shots here and there. So I try not to react to what my opponent is doing and just realize that the best thing I can do is go shoot and score a goal on her instead.

IV. What's been the best moment of your soccer career?

The best moment of my soccer career was scoring the winning penalty kick in the shootout of my U-8 MAYSA Cup championship game. I didn't know what a shootout was, but I scored my penalty kick anyways, and looking back at that moment still makes me smile.

V. What's been the hardest moment of your soccer career?

The hardest moment of my soccer career was when I tore my meniscus last year. I had started the first three games of my college career and I was absolutely ecstatic about it, and then in a flash my year was over. I had to medical redshirt and be on the sidelines all year. In the end it really tested my character and made me appreciate every minute of every practice and game much, much more.

VI. What would a scouting report about you say?

I think a scouting report about me would say that I am strong on the ball, can receive the ball well at my feet and in space, and that I like to go at players one on one. Those would be the positives. I think it would also say to challenge me in the air because I don't always come up with the ball.

VII. Who has been your biggest influence in the game?

My biggest influence on the game has been my coaches. My first club coach, Tom Kuehne, can be given credit for teaching me foot skills and the importance of practicing and fine tuning my technical game. My next club coach was Jim Anderson, who really helped me find my love for the game and helped me learn that I play my best when I'm having fun doing it. My final club coach was Christian Lavers, who really drove into me the importance of hard work and to never settle for anything less than excellence. I don't think I could credit just one of those coaches, because it was the combination of all three that really influenced me.

VIII. Which team is UW's biggest rival?

Two rivals for UW would definitely be UW-Milwaukee and Ohio State. UW-Milwaukee because it's a game we always need to win to prove that we are the best Wisconsin school, and Ohio State because games against them are complete brawls on the field. Games against Ohio State are very intense both physically and emotionally because both of us really lay everything out on the field and do what is needed to win.

IX. What was the hardest thing to get used to in playing Division I soccer?

Every player that you play with and against is very talented. Every player that comes into Division I soccer initially has a higher level of skill, so it's a different sort of game. My club team wasn't particularly gifted technically, but we succeeded because we worked hard. At the college level, it's just more of a technical, team-oriented game.

X. What's the best goal you've ever seen?

I'm not sure of the best goal I've EVER seen, but the most recent was last weekend against No. 2 Penn State when Elise Weber intercepted a pass before the halfway line, dribbled all the way to the goal, past defenders and nailed a shot past the goalie. That was the best goal in a while because it was one we really needed to stay in the game.

XI. Your all-time Madison-area starting XI?

I'm not sure what my starting all-time Madison XI would be, but here is a list of players at each position that I would love to have on my team.

Goalkeepers: Christina Reuter, Madison La Follette and Boston University; Maren Spolum, Madison East and DePauw (Ind.) University.
Defenders: Kate Megna, Middleton and UW-Milwaukee; Ann Eshun, Madison Edgewood and UW; Molly Meuer, Madison Memorial and UW; Molly Holzem, Madison East and UW-Eau Claire; Georgia McCormick, Madison West; Ingrid Madden, Madison East.
Midfielders: Beth Steuer, Madison La Follette and UW-Milwaukee; Caity Abshere, Madison East and Middlebury (Vt.) College; Katy Meuer, Madison Memorial and UW; Jessica Beinlich, Madison Memorial and Colorado College; Taylor Powell, Madison West and UW-Milwaukee; Jenna Mitby, Madison West and Penn; Chloe Moushey, Madison East and Drury (Mo.) University; Katie Heitke, Madison West and Creighton; Jenna Stiegler, Middleton and Wheaton (Mass.) College.
Forwards: Jenny Kundert, Madison West and UW; Sarah Stephenson, Middleton and Iowa; Jodi Klagos, Madison Memorial and UW-Milwaukee; Melissa Kaetterhenry, Middleton and Iowa; Sarah Freidel, Madison West and UW-Milwaukee; Carly Peterson, Verona and Minnesota State-Mankato.
Coaches: Christian Lavers, Jim Launder, Jim Anderson.

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Tag(s): XI Questions