Q&A With Kevin Taylor
Sept. 19, 2003
Senior defender, and team tri-captain, Kevin Taylor was named the Big Ten Soccer Defensive Player of the Week on September 9th, while teammate Knox Cameron was named Offensive Player of the Week. Taylor scored the winning goal in the Wolverine's 1-0 defeat of Evansville on just his second career penalty kick goal. He also led his team to another shutout over Xavier the same week. In his first three seasons at Michigan, Taylor started a total of 47 games, earning All-Big Ten second team honors in the past two years. Taylorsays he definitely wants to try and continue his soccer career after graduation. Here is how Kevin answered some of our questions, about getting started in soccer, playing in the Big Ten tournament, and what motivates him.
You've had a lot of accomplishments going back to high school etc. How did you get started in soccer?
My mom signed me up for soccer to tire me out. I would go to school, then go to practice, come home and be too tired to give her any trouble.
How old were you when you started?
Who has had the biggest influence on your soccer career?
Different coaches had influences on me in different ways. But if I had to name one, I would say my club coach on the Gulliver team. He was really young, like 25 when I was in high school and so he was just easy to relate to.
Being from Miami, Florida, how did you choose Big Ten soccer and Michigan?
Coach (Steve Burns) came down and saw me play in a tournament in Florida, and then invited me and (club and Wolverine teammate) Ian Hirshfield to come on a recruiting trip. I just fell in love with the campus and Michigan.
How hard of an adjustment was there in terms of soccer and the weather?
It wasn't too difficult adjusting to the college game, but it was hard adjusting to the weather. In Miami, the temperature is pretty much the same all year, but there are four seasons in Michigan and long winters. I didn't like playing in the cold weather at first, but I'm more used to it now.
What has been the 'high' of your career so far?
This past summer I played on a PDL (Premier Development League) team and we played a MLS team. That was pretty cool. It was good to see the differences in the game at that kind of level.
Have there been any 'lows'?
Injuries are always a low. I've always had a few nagging injuries, but nothing serious.
How did it feel to score the only goal in the game against Evansville (September 7th)?
I scored on penalty kick. It was nice because I don't get to score many goals, I never really thought of it being the only goal though. On defense, we kind of have a more team oriented mind-set.
Your team made it to the championship game of the Big Ten tournament last year, how will that experience help this year's team?
Now we know what we need to do to win a game like that; what little things need to be taken care of to win a championship.
Unfortunately, you were forced to sit out of that game, how hard was that?
It was hard, I got two yellow cards in the game before and that's why I had to sit out. It's hard sitting out any game, but a championship is even worse. I just had to be a cheerleader for our team and try to help them win that way.
Your coach has said you are an emotional leader on the field. What does he mean by that?
If I'm in a bad mood or something, it can effect how I play. But I try to go out there and play hard and play my best. I try to use that to motivate my teammates.
Where does your motivation come from?
I hate to lose. You know, I just hate losing.