Oct. 30, 2012
By Jourdan Rodrigue, Digital Communications Intern
There is no glory in midfield.
Praise from outsiders is reserved for the goal scorers and goalkeepers—those players whose shining moments burst forth with a rare rush of adrenaline in a measured, methodical game.
“She’s one of our leaders,” Boyd said. “She’s pretty much a perfect example of what you’d want from a player.”
McCarter is 5’2’’ but her role on the team is gigantic. She’s the quarterback-with all the recognition of an offensive line.
“The midfield is the heartbeat of the team,” said McCarter. “If you have a good midfield that is able to move the ball around and that is constantly involved, then that’s a good team.”
A midfielder must coordinate plays as well as stop opposing teams from getting too far down the field. They have to be both offensively and defensively minded—and the position requires a high level of aggression.
“The position she plays is very combative. It’s smack in the middle of the field, in the middle of the action,” said Boyd.
It’s perfect for McCarter. Her delicate, pretty features contrast sharply with her competitive spirit. Her aggression on the field sneaks through even in warm ups. When she runs, her fists--highlighted by bold tattoos that snake up one forearm-- clench and unclench. To not be intimidated by this small but fierce player would be foolish of opposing offenses.
“I even used to get mad when my brother would make a better sandwich than me,” laughed McCarter. "Sometimes it might be to my disadvantage that I hate losing even more than I love to win.”
Boyd ranks her in the top five players that he’s gotten to coach, but McCarter won’t admit that she’s the reason the midfield is so strong. The thought never even crosses her mind.
“Well I HOPE that I’m doing well,” McCarter laughs as she describes the qualities of a solid midfield, and then moves the topic off herself and onto the contributions of her teammates--the team is 9-8-2 (5-4-1 in the Pac-12) with a recent double overtime win over Colorado 2-1.
“When I tell her how good she is, she’s always genuinely surprised,” said Boyd. “She’s been our MVP for the last couple years but doesn’t get a third of the recognition that she should from the outside world.”
McCarter just wants to work—and she wants to win.
“It’s a mentality, you have to be hard-nosed. You have to think ‘I’m going to go out and just wreck it.’ That’s just what you have to do,” she said.
There is no glory in midfield, but to Taylor McCarter goes the grit.
The Sun Devils close out regular season play Friday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m., when they host the Arizona Wildcats.