This week, I had the pleasure of talking with Taylor Reifert. Reifert, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team leads the team in scoring with seven goals this season. Last week, he led the Vikings to a 3-1 win over Ripon College. In the game, he had one goal and an assist. The men’s team ended the year in a tough battle, losing 1-0 against Beloit.
Shane Farrell: Tell me about the game against Ripon, how do you feel you played and the team played?
Taylor Reifert: Ripon was a bit of a wildcard as a team. They had not put up great results, but had a few good players who were able to exploit a few of our weaknesses towards the end of the first half. We started strong, scoring in the second minute on a great team goal, but then played a little more defensively which cost us. We regrouped at halftime and came out firing in the second half and were able to put two more goals away, with plenty of other offensive chances.
SF: You lead the team in scoring, what do you attribute to that success?
TR: Of all the goals I scored this year, only a few I can take all the credit for. My team did an amazing job of finding me when I was in dangerous areas on the field, which set me up to put a lot of balls in the back of the net. I also think that I had much more confidence this year which helped me be a little more offensively oriented.
SF: How does this year’s soccer team compare to lasts year’s team?
TR: This year’s team played for each other and no one else. We relied on each other, held each other accountable, and had an “all in” mindset. We were put in an interesting position not having a coach for four games early in the season, but we took the adversity in stride. I think this showed in our offensive success as well as our defensive stability. We called on every player to make an impact this season, and I think that showed the true character of the team.
SF: How do you balance being a D-III athlete with the academic rigors of Lawrence?
TR: I can’t remember a time in my life where I was not a student-athlete. Growing up I had to balance school as well as soccer, and I think that trained me for being the student-athlete I am today. Being in-season forces you to be even more organized and meticulous about your schedule, and you have less time to procrastinate. Being an athlete definitely makes me a better student.
SF: At what age did you start playing soccer?
TR: I have been playing soccer for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are on a soccer field.
SF: Why did you pick Lawrence?
TR: I picked Lawrence because it offered me a great academic future while also allowing me to be a collegiate student-athlete.