Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Bennett
Taylor Bennett, from the girls ’98 SDA team, has signed a contract with Afturelding, a second division team in the Iceland professional women’s soccer league. Taylor played D1 soccer at Syracuse University, where she was a 4-year starter on the back line, playing center back and helping the team secure 21 shutouts during her career. Taylor led her defensive line, with a total of 5 points. She tied for most assists (3) during her freshman debut as well. Taylor graduated from SU this past May with a bachelor’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in coaching.
Taylor started playing on the girls ’98 SDA team when she was 12 under coach Mike Paolini. In an interview, Taylor said “SDA helped me gain experience through many, many tournaments and high-pressure situations such as state cup, regionals, and nationals. I also developed my technical ability and tactical awareness and strategy with the help of all the coaches at SDA. Being able to work with different coaches taught me many different styles of play and preferences that helped make me a more rounded played, which helped me prepare for collegiate soccer and a professional career after.”
Taylors favorite SDA memory was winning regionals for the first time with her team against a team that beat them the year prior. “Also, being able to travel the country with, and play in high level leagues and tournaments with teammates who became my best friends.”
“My favorite college memory was getting our first ACC win over Wake Forest with our new head coach Nicky Adams. It was a full team effort and a much-deserved win for both players and coaching staff. My favorite professional memory so far is stepping on the field for my first game, having the opportunity to start, and being able to record an assist.”
Taylors piece of advice for younger players is “to control the controllable. You cannot control what other people do, say, or think, but you can control how hard you work and how you respond to adversity. Those two things will help progress you in your soccer endeavor.”