Boyer leads the Tulpehocken team with 11 goals

As the team works its way through the state tournament this week, there’s no doubt that its been another good season for the Tulpehocken High School girls’ soccer team. Year-in and year-out the team, under head coach Paul Zerbe, has gone deep into the district and state playoffs.

They do it through good coaching, strong defense, solid teamwork and balanced scoring. When this season began, Coach Zerbe figured that his team would have to rely on all of these strength in order for his team to go far. There didn’t seem to be a superstar who would carry the load.

Yes, there truly is no “superstar’ player on the team, but there is one player who came seemingly out of nowhere to have an outstanding season for the Trojans. Coming into the season, Boyer had just three goals and three assist in her high school varsity career. This year, it all came together for her. She leads the team with 11 goals and nine assists for 31 points. Megan Emerick is second with 17 points. Taylor gives most of the credit to hard work and her coaches.

“I worked very hard last year and this year to get where I am now,’ said Boyer. “From working over the years, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about the game. My coach helped me understand where to be at certain times and what to do in certain situations.

“Being on varsity is an unforgettable experience for me. Also, being able to contribute in a district title and state games is an amazing feeling. I’m grateful that I was able to have those opportunities.’

Boyer has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember. Her older sister Brooke played, and her father coached, so it was inevitable that she would take up the sport. Brooke, who graduated from Tulpehocken last spring, had a lot to do with the development of Taylor’s soccer skills. Brooke was a defender for the Trojans and Taylor always looked up to her big sister.

“She was always my role model when we were kids and I always wanted to do everything she did,’ said Taylor. “I played soccer with her for years and I definitely miss being able to do that this year.’

For Taylor, it all about fun. She always loved to play the game, but it was just a game. It wasm’t until she started playing high school varsity soccer that she started to concentrate more on improving her game.

“When I began seeing varsity time, I knew I had to take soccer seriously and make the least number of mistakes possible,’ said Boyer. “I also knew that the more I worked and improved, the better chance I had of getting more playing time. My coach always says that nobody’s position is guaranteed, so I knew I had to perform to my best ability.’

The hard work has paid of in a tremendous senior season for Boyer. She has been the spark to an offense that has scored 75 goals in 24 games. The Trojans got back to the District 3-A championship game, but lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Trinity.

But they are still alive in the state tournament, with the ultimate goal of winning a state championship. Boyer is confident her team has what it takes to reach that goal.

“We have the motivation, skill and teamwork to do so,’ said Boyer. “Last year’s loss in the state semifinals is still in the back of our minds, but it gives us the push to do better and go further. When we play the game we can, we are unstoppable.’

Whether the team makes it all the way or not, it will still be a very good season for the Lady Trojans. It certainly has been a very good season for Boyer who is closing out a high school soccer career. There is a lot about being on this team that she will miss.

“I will remember the feeling I had from being a part of the team,’ said Boyer. “Not every high school soccer player gets to say that he or she was on a district champion team, or that they qualified for states. Not every player gets to be as close as my team is with each other. Every game we have our parents, fans, and sometimes the boys’ soccer team cheering us on. I won’t ever forget the support they gave us in our tough games.

“As my high school career comes to a close, I realize that I need to play every minute of every game like it’s my last, because it very well just might be my last. When the time comes, I’m going to think during school what time practice will be, but I will realize that the season, as well as my high school career, is over. I know for sure I’m going to miss high school soccer, but I have so many great memories of my time on the Tulpehocken High School girls’ soccer team to remember in the future.’

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