With four goals in the bag, Grant looks to lead Missouri
Senior Taylor Grant is one goal shy of the amount of goals she scored last season after only three games.
Sep. 02, 2014
Taylor Grant is on fire.
The senior forward for the Missouri soccer team has scored four of the team’s seven goals in their four games, including two against No. 13 West Virginia, putting her in good position to potentially make history by breaking the program’s single-season goals record.
“She has incredible work ethic,” associate head coach Brian Dooley said. “She’s a serious soccer player who wants to win, and she’ll do what’s necessary to help her team.”
In her three seasons with the Tigers prior to this year, she scored a total of nine goals. Grant put rather simply how the young season has been so far: “fun.”
“We’re a bunch of different personalities, but it seems to come together pretty well,” Grant said of her team. “We can be on the field and be super competitive and walk off and give each other a hug and goof around.”
Grant has been named co-captain of the squad, along with fellow seniors midfielder Kaysie Clark and goalkeeper McKenzie Sauerwein.
With the new title, along with the success of this season, the Texas native has quickly become a leader to the younger players.
“Taylor has been like a role model,” freshman forward Jessica Johnson said. “She’s been a great motivator and always helps out.”
Grant’s friendly personality has helped younger players adjust to the team.
“She’s very warm and has a nice laugh,” Johnson said. “She’s an awesome person and cares about the whole team.”
Johnson is adjusting to her new position as a forward. She previously played midfield, and said she goes to Grant for advice.
Clark, who has been playing with Grant for the past three years, has provided two of four assists for Grant this season.
“On the field, I think we connect very well,” Clark said. “Since she’s a forward and I’m a midfielder, I try to find her a lot. She’s really fast so I try to give her a lot of through balls.”
Not only does Grant hope to build on her own performance, but also to help the team improve overall.
Last year, the Tigers went 9-9-3. Grant said she thinks they can do better this year.
She’s used to success, having won a national championship with her club team, the Dallas Texans, when she was a freshman in high school.
“We want to go all the way and win the SEC championship outright,” Grant said. “We just have to focus on the games coming up and play each one game by game.”
For the time being, the Tigers (3-1) can rally around Grant’s character.
“She’s an intense competitor,” Dooley said of Grant. “She does all of the dirty work up top — chasing down the ball and putting pressure on the other teams’ defenders. It’s the example you want your freshmen to follow.”