North Texas Daily

Youngster Torres gives Mean Green soccer experience

Youngster Torres gives Mean Green soccer experience

North Texas forward Taylor Torres (8) moves the ball up the pitch against Abilene Christian on August 28, 2016. Dylan Nadwodny

Youngster Torres gives Mean Green soccer experience
September 08
14:39 2016

When she was younger, Taylor Torres was selfish.

“I didn’t want anyone touching my ball,” she said jokingly.

Soccer has always been Torres’ passion, so she decided to play as much of it as possible at an early age. In high school, she played for the U17 Mexican National team for two years, FC Dallas club team and Frisco High School.

Now as only a sophomore, she is one of the most seasoned North Texas players on the pitch.

“Those experiences have bettered me as a player,” Torres said. “I’ve gained more knowledge about soccer. It helps me work with the whole team and builds my confidence.”

As a freshman last year, Torres averaged 43 minutes per game and tallied three goals. Six games into her second season, she has two goals, averages 60 minutes per game, and stretches the opposition’s defense at the right wing position.

Along with playing for the Mean Green, Torres plays in the Women’s Premier Soccer League for the FC Dallas professional team in the spring and early summer.

“[Taylor’s resume] is pretty impressive,” senior forward Rachel Holden said.  “A lot of people can’t juggle all of that, but she’s done well and it’s always good playing with her. She plays well off the ball, on the ball [and] scores goals.”

Torres’ play style appeals to head coach John Hedlund, who stresses width and wide play which leads to crosses and scoring chances.

All of the practices and games for FC Dallas and the Mexican U17 national team prepared for the collegiate stage before she even had her first practice with the Mean Green.

“She’s a very polished player,” Hedlund said. “She has high soccer IQ [and] she reads the game very well. A lot of those characteristics came from her playing experience. She has a lot of quality traits that transfer over to us because she had so much playing experience before she came here.”

North Texas sophomore forward Taylor Torres (8) spins away from an Abilene Christian defender during a game on August 28th. Dylan Nadwodny

North Texas sophomore forward Taylor Torres (8) spins away from an Abilene Christian defender during a game on August 28th. Dylan Nadwodny

The journey from when she was a selfish five-year-old to now being one of the smartest and most skilled players on this North Texas team has been enduring and challenging for Torres.

However, she’s always had the right people around her to keep her going.

“There have been some obstacles that I’ve faced, but I know that I have my family and my friends to support me in everything,” Torres said. “To get through those obstacles I know that I just have to face them and get over them.”

In order to clear these hurdles, Torres needed to improve as much as possible. This meant developing her shot, ball skills, and other intangibles that make her a nightmare for opponents.

The jump from high school to college was her first road block.

“She’s been able to develop her game knowing that she has to make quicker decisions,” Hedlund said. “The [college] game is a lot more physical.”

Throughout her playing career, Torres has come across numerous coaches and players that have all expanded her array of connections and opened up opportunities for her in the future. She’s played for two accomplished coaches in John Hedlund at North Texsas and Ben Waldrum at FC Dallas who help her both off and off the field.

Even though she is only a sophomore, Torres has aspirations of what she wants to do once her time at North Texas is done.

“My goal is to play pro and play with the US national team,” Torres said. “I’ve talked to [Hedlund] and some of my FC Dallas coaches about that and hopefully they can help me get there.”

Constant practices, games and tournaments have pushed Torres to her limits for year. Despite her rigorous routine and limited time off, Torres is still infatuated with the game.

“[The passion] comes from my heart,” Torres said. “I started at the age of five and ever since then my passion has just grown.”

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore forward Taylor Torres (8) moves the ball up the pitch against Abilene Christian on August 28. Dylan Nadwodny

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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