The Justin Northwest girls soccer team has wrapped up a playoff spot and has done so with a balanced effort that includes a stout defensive unit.
The Lady Texans had six shutouts in district competition heading into Friday’s game against Haslet Eaton, and sweeper Tayler Schott has certainly done her part.
“Tayler is a tremendous competitor and leader,” coach Josh Vaughn said. “She has been a great leader for our defense and keeping it organized by playing our sweeper position. She leads not just with her voice, but with her actions.”
Schott was selected as last season’s Utility MVP in district, and Vaughn said she can really play anywhere she is needed.
“Tayler has mainly played our sweeper position this year, but there have been some games she has played at center mid,” Vaughn said. “This past game against Aledo, she played some forward for me as well. Her versatility helps the team overall. I know that if I ask her to step into a position, we will not lose anything at that position, and that allows other players to play another position they may feel more comfortable with.”
Schott said she has been pleased with the progress her team has made so far this year and excited about their prospects in the playoffs.
“This season has been really big for us,” Schott said. “We had a lot of complications and troubles to start the year, but we came together as a team and really worked hard to accomplish our goals.”
The Northwest senior said she believes that it is team play that has allowed the Lady Texans to enjoy the kind of success they have this season and said she tries to do her part to facilitate good teamwork.
“I try to bring communication and unity to the team,” Schott said. “If we don’t work together as one, we wouldn’t have gotten this far.”
Schott, who has verbally committed to Texas A&M University, has played select soccer for the last eight years and plays indoor soccer on several teams.
Schott said for Northwest to have a good run in the playoffs, the team cannot get ahead of itself.
“I believe the team needs to stay focused on our goal and play it day by day,” Schott said. “We need to continue to push each other to our limits and out hustle each competitor.”
Schott is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and Astronomy Club at Northwest High school and is ranked in the top six percent of her graduating class.
Vaughn said it’s Schott’s athletic prowess and academic excellence that allows her to set such a good example for her younger teammates.
“Tayler is a great leader,” Vaughn said. “She has shown this throughout games and practice. We joined our JV and varsity practices a few times this year and Tayler took it upon herself to help teach some of the JV kids how to play a position they were unfamiliar with. She is always looking for the positive and how she can help better the team.”