It takes a level of determination and discipline to succeed on the soccer field. Lucky for UCT senior Taylor Charlton, she possesses both in abundance. There’s discipline to stay in front of a tight defensive back line to stay onside. And then there’s the determination to fight through traffic to get to a ball in a must-score situation.
As a center forward for the Rams girls’ soccer team, Charlton stands on the pitch not only for her scoring prowess, but also for how quickly she’s able to read opposing teams.
“Everything I have come to learn about the game has become second nature to me. Subconsciously I know where to be and what to do on the field,” Charlton said.
That sort of on-field understanding stems from when she first stepped foot on a soccer field at the age of 4. From that point Charlton has played on all the top teams for her age group and regularly patrolled the forward position for the Falmouth Soccer Club from age 8 to 14, she said.
She didn’t let her slight fear of heading the ball as a child affect her. Instead she embraced that fear and corralled it—using it to her advantage. Now it’s a regular part of her game to win possession.
“Building that confidence has made my play more effective, I think,” Charlton said.
And it’s those traits on the soccer field that bleed over to her everyday life. In the classroom Charlton has been a part of the honor roll and high honor roll for as long as she can remember and has recently earned a CNA license through UCT. With her passion for soccer and her desire to succeed in the classroom, it’s no surprise Charlton has decided to enlist in the air force. She recently signed on for a six-year commitment with the US Air Force and received her top occupation pick of security forces. She leaves in July and, after her six-year commitment, she’ll have obtained her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Outside school, Charlton has been a certified soccer referee for six seasons with the South Coast Soccer League and also works at Spaulding Rehabilitation Cape Cod.
What do you love about soccer? What drew you to the sport, and what made you stick with it?
Soccer has always been an interest in my family. It was like my parents knew I was born to play, so they signed me up at only 4 years of age. There have been times where I may have felt like it would have been easier to give up in a losing situation. However, with the right coaching I have been able to push through, keep fighting, and never quit. Soccer has been my life, and I have had a good 14-year run.
If you could be one fictional character, who would you be?
I would be Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” because I loved mermaids as a kid and I love the ocean.
Who is on your Mount Rushmore of role models?
My mom is definitely my role model. She has guided me through life’s best and toughest moments. She is part of what made me who I am.
Do you have any plans after graduation?
I have enlisted in the United States Air Force. I am currently in the delayed entry program and have signed a six-year contract. My recruiter, Technical Sergeant Emerson, has recently let me know I got my top job pick—Security Forces. I will be shipping out in July 2020. At the end of my six years I will have my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
What is your favorite school subject?
My favorite subject in school is English because academically I do very well and enjoy expanding my vocabulary.
What is your greatest high school moment, either athletically or academically?
My greatest high school moment was realizing my future was planned out by the end of my junior year by the Air Force.
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party? What would you serve?
I would invite Dean Winchester from “Supernatural,” US Women’s National Team Olympian Alex Morgan, and Kevin Hart to a dinner party. I would serve some nachos because you can’t go wrong with nachos. And then some Rocky Road ice cream for dessert because that’s my favorite kind.
You’re stranded on a deserted island and have only a backpack of your most prized possessions. What’s in your backpack?
I might have a book, my favorite pink and gray soccer ball, some bug spray, and a nice comfortable hammock.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my mom, Tara Charlton, my dad, Jason Charlton, and my brother, Cameron Charlton, for always being there and supporting me.