Propelled by a Love of Her Sport: Taylor Davis

By Christopher Tremblay
Soccer captain Taylor Davis, who watched her underdog team surprise the naysayers last year, is optimistic great things can happen again this year. She’ll be headed to Southern Connecticut State University next year.
Issue Date: 
September, 2017
Article Body: 

Growing up, Taylor Davis found herself very active, participating in basketball, dance, gymnastics and soccer, but it wasn’t until her mother asked her which she preferred playing that she focused more of her energy on soccer.
“I’ve been playing soccer long before I can remember, so I’ve always had that special passion for the sport,” she said. “Soccer is more of a physical game where you can go full speed and get a thrill out of it.”
While dance and gymnastics went by the wayside, Davis continued playing both soccer and basketball, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year when she decided to drop basketball, because it was getting in the way.
“I knew that soccer was my love, but I continued to play both sports,” Davis said. “It wasn’t until basketball caused me to miss a (club team) soccer tournament. It was then that I realized I need to just commit to soccer.”
Playing club soccer was where Davis found that center-mid was her position.
“The coaches were the ones that put me in this position, but I found that I liked it because I can see everywhere on the field and know what’s going on. I also like having control of the situation on the field,” she said.
Upon entering high school, the Millis native found herself scared at tryouts as a freshman, but soon learned that she’d be playing the same position for the Mohawks.
“I was one of two freshmen trying out for the team. The other girls were huge, and it terrified me, but once the tryouts started, I was in my zone,” Davis said. “I was able to maneuver around the defense and score on a regular basis. At one point, I heard the coach yelling at the defense to stop me, which motivated me even more as I like the pressure.”
“Having played club soccer, you could see that she was well trained and had a good IQ of the game,” Millis Head Coach Steve Bailen said. “Taylor holds herself to high standards and will coach her teammates in practice as well as games to build them up. If we’re not playing good, she doesn’t point fingers but instead motivates them.”
As a freshman, Davis found herself on the field a considerable amount of time and with the team around her playing at such a high level she was forced to raise her game. That season, Millis found themselves losing to eventual State Champion East Bridgewater 2-1 in the Semi-Finals of the Division 4 South Tournament. East Bridgewater would continue to dominate, finding themselves in the past four division championships, winning the last three. After missing the tournament her sophomore year, the Mohawks were back in it again last year only to lose to East Bridgewater yet again, this time in the Quarter Finals 3-1.
“The loss to East Bridgewater in the Semi-Finals my freshman year was very heartbreaking, but it was amazing to be a part of,” Davis said. “This past year, we lost a lot of seniors so everyone expected us to go downhill, but a lot of new players did really well, and we were back in the tournament.”
Last fall as a junior Davis was named one of the team’s captains, an honor that totally caught her off guard.
“It was unexpected. At our banquet, one of the outgoing captains was describing out new captain and I thought I knew who she was talking about, but when she said my name my jaw just dropped, I was in total shock,” she said. “At that point, I knew that my hard work had paid off, and this was really a special moment to be surrounded by a great group of athletic girls that thought highly of my game.”
While Davis was in awe of the announcement, her coach wasn’t.
“The girls on the team select captains, but I fully agreed with their decision of Taylor,” the coach said. “Our team success last year was due in part because of Taylor and the other two captains on the team. In order to have success on the field, you have to look at the team as a business. You need your leaders at the top to create that positive atmosphere, which leads to those positive results win or lose. I’m not against losing, as long as you gave 100%.”
Since she left the soccer field late last year for the Mohawks, Davis has continued to play club soccer while going to the gym on a regular basis to not only get stronger, but improve her speed. She wants this upcoming season to be best.
“I’m hoping that we can have a season to remember; one of the best in school’s history,” she said. “As a senior, I want to take more of a leadership role in getting this team’s chemistry to gel on and off the field. Last year we started to piece everything together, and I think that we can have a great upcoming season.”
Her Coach believe in his two-year captain and is looking forward to seeing what she and this team can accomplish.
“Taylor has certainly matured in the way she conducts herself on and off the field since I first took over this team three years ago,” Bailen said. “She is a tremendous role model not only for the younger girls, but for the older ones as well. I can’t wait to see what happens this season.”
As a senior, Davis is hoping to bring Millis a championship this fall, and she can concentrate fully on the task at hand as she has already committed to play college soccer next season at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven where she’ll major in exercise science and nutrition. While she is excited to lead the Mohawks this fall, she can’t believe how perfect the fit is with SCSU and her future.