Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 16, 2011

Soccer America names Taylor player of year

by Rick Eymer

Lindsay Taylor has made it a trifecta. The Castilleja grad was named Soccer America's Women's Player of the Year on Thursday, making it three in a row for Stanford. Kelley O'Hara won the award in 2009 and Christen Press won it last year.

Taylor led the Cardinal with 20 goals en route to its first national title. She did not score at the Women's College Cup but had an assist in the 3-0 win over Florida State in the semifinals and the key pass in the long sequence leading up to Stanford's lone goal in its 1-0 win over Duke in the College Cup final.

Taylor scored 16 goals as a freshman in 2008, when she was named the Soccer America Freshman of the Year, but health problems, most notably, a bad hip, that set her back. She recovered and had a big senior season for the Cardinal.

She finished her career with 56 goals and 27 assists in 102 games.

"Technically, she's one of the most gifted players I've ever coached," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "Her goal scoring with both feet is the best I've ever coached. She can also head the ball very well. She's just an outstanding talent."

Stanford is only the second school to have Soccer America's Women's Player of the Year in three consecutive years. North Carolina did that in 1998-90 (Shannon Higgins was a repeat performer) and 1992-94 (when Mia Hamm won two years in a row). Its string was broken in 1991 when Julie Foudy, the only other Stanford player to earn Player of the Year honors, got the nod.

Taylor also is among three finalists — along with teammate Teresa Noyola and Penn State sophomore Maya Hayes — for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, which will be awarded on January 6. Press and O'Hara each won the Hermann Trophy, as well.

If Noyola wins the Hermann, it would mark the second time that different winners from the same team received women's soccer's two major awards. The only other time was in 2003, when North Carolina's Lindsay Tarpley won the Soccer America honor and Catherine Reddick won the Hermann Trophy.

Taylor was joined on Soccer America's MVPs first team by fellow seniors Camille Levin and Noyola. Junior Alina Garciamendez was named to the second team.

In addition, Stanford's Chioma Ubogagu and Kendall Romine were named to Soccer America's All-Freshman team. Sacred Heart Prep grad Abby Dahlkemper, a defender for UCLA, also was named to the national team.

Virginia's Morgan Brian was named Freshman of the Year and Duke's Robbie Church was named Coach of the Year.

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