For Taylor Beitz, soccer is more than a sport; it’s a way of life. “I’ve been playing since I was very young,” she pointed out in Holy-Trinity high school’s guidance office. “It’s all I’ve known.”
By Francis Racine, The Cornwall Journal
The young woman has been through countless different leagues, all the while meeting who she calls incredible people.
“From four to seven, I played in a local house league,” she explained, smiling. “From seven to ten, I was in a Coyotes program. From 10 to 13, I played for the Blazers and from 13 till now, I’ve been playing for the Ottawa South United Soccer Association (OSCU).”
The young woman plays a crucial role in her soccer team; she’s what’s known as a keeper. She’s the one person defending the team’s net against rival kicks.
As she talks about what makes a great keeper, Beitz raises her hands to her face and shows off her two index fingers. “I’ve broken both my fingers,” she said. “It can be dangerous and there’s also a lot of pressure on you. You can’t let down your team.”
But that’s exactly what motivates her to compete; pressure.
“I strive under it, I love it,” she stressed, a confident smile appearing at the corner of her lips. “It’s what pushes me to be better.”
Becoming a keeper seemed to have been Beitz’s destiny, for she became one quite by accident. “I used to be a striker and score a lot of goals when I was with the Blazers,” she maintained. “Then during this one game, our keeper got hurt and had to leave the game. They asked all of us if anyone wanted to replace her. No one did so I raised my hand and volunteered. Well, let’s just say that we won the game and I got hooked!”
To be a good keeper, you must not only be dedicated, but also very confident. “You can’t score goals as a keeper, but you can surely stop them,” she explained. “You are the backbone of the team, the last line of defense.”
It seems that the 17-year-old’s hard work and dedication has paid off. Earlier this year, she received amazing news from Minnesota. “I got told I was accepted at the University of Minnesota,” she confided “I’ll be going there to study on a soccer scholarship.”
She recently signed her letter of intent and will be joining the Golden Gophers soccer team next year. But the process for being accepted was a difficult one.
“There’s so much competition,” she added. “It’s very cutthroat.”
But thankfully for Beitz, the team boasts quite a friendly and down to earth coach; Stephanie Golan. “She was very nice and made me feel at home,” declared the soccer keeper. “She made me feel like it was all about me and no one else.”
Couldn’t have done it without support
As the Hol -Trinity student as learned, dedication does come at a price. “I play two to three games in Ottawa a week,” she declared “My father is a firefighter in Ottawa and he sometimes has 24 hour long shifts. So sometimes he comes all the way back to Cornwall, only to go back to Ottawa for one of my games or a practice.”
Beitz’s parents a proud of their daughter’s accomplishments. “They are very happy for me,” expressed the young woman.
So where exactly does she see herself in five years? “I hope to be playing for Team Canada but also playing professional soccer as a career,” she admitted.
Unfortunately, she then goes on the say that players in Europe or the United States make a lot more than the ones who play in Canada. “I’d love to play in Europe though, they love soccer over there, and it’s amazing!”