Ever since Taylor Tufts moved to Southlake seven years ago, all she wanted was to become a Lady Dragons soccer player.
Little did she, her parents or even Carroll’s coaches know then that Tufts would leave her mark on the program on ways few could have imagined.
The University of Oklahoma signee has been named the Star-Telegram girls soccer player of the year after becoming the second player in program history - and first since 2002 - to record at least 30 goals and 20 assists in a season.
She helped Carroll win the 6A state title, its first since 2008.
“Means a lot. We have 12 seniors out there,” Tufts said. “There are a lot of great players. I’m very thankful for what I have.”
This season, Tufts scored 31 times (tied for fifth most in program single-season history). She tied the record with 11 game-winning goals, was second with 86 points, but was most happy with 24 assists (second most in school history).
“The assists mean a lot more to me. I look to help my team,” she said. “Scoring is always good, everyone looks at the scorers, but giving the assists is what I look at because all I want to do is give back to this team.”
Tufts finished with 72 career goals (fourth all-time) and 60 assists (second).
But the 20-20 season was what she’s most proud of.
“That’s been my goal since sophomore year,” said Tufts, who came one assist shy of it last season. “I worked hard all summer and was dedicated. I wasn’t going to stop until I got it. I wanted to stay balanced between goals and assists.”
Out of her 72 career goals, the one against Coppell in the regional quarterfinals was her favorite.
“It was one of my best goals just because of the heat of the moment,” Tufts said. “It was a tie game, going to overtime and we’re playing the best opponent we faced in the playoffs, and they have one of the best goalies in the nation.”
Tufts finished her career third all-time with 24 game winners and 204 points. She’s the only player in program history to record 70 goals and 60 assists in a career.
The Dragons (28-1-2) went on to beat Austin Lake Travis (2-0) and Katy Tompkins (5-0) to capture their second title overall. Tufts, who was named district MVP and state all-tourney, scored and added two assists in the championship match.
“It’s very special. Ever since I moved here in the sixth grade, I always looked forward to playing for the Lady Dragon program,” she said. “I looked up to Grace Cory, Sophie Groff and Mary Meehan, and I played a little bit with them. Seeing their disappointment after losing their final game; we wanted to win for them.
“I’ll miss the Carroll environment. Everyone knows each other. The coaches did an amazing job of bringing it all together and creating an uplifting program. I am very thankful for all of them.”
Check back Thursday for boys soccer all-area team