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Athlete of the Week - Taylor Gallaher

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Taylor Gallaher Guilford soccer

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Taylor Gallaher did not always want to be the last line of defense.

"I actually did not play goalie until I started playing club at ten and they threw me in even though I hated it," Gallaher said with a laugh. "I've actually been there since and would not leave it ever."

She's embraced the role of leader and stopper, dealing with the pressures of being the goalie, while also directing everyone else on the field.

"I try to bring the most positive mentality," she said. "I feel like I bring my team up in the back. We get down on each other and have mistakes all the time. I think bringing each other together and trying to cheer them up and tell them the right way to do things and just talking it out with everyone has been great."

It helps that the Lady Vikings operate as one unit, which Gallaher found out when she first stepped on the field and put on a Guilford uniform.

"This team has been my family for four years now," she explains. "Coming in playing varsity starting and they brought me into indoor. It was honestly the best community I've ever met. Going from club to high school soccer, they were so nice to me and accepted me the first day I was there and ever since it's always been like a family. We've always hung out, had team dinners. It's the best friends I've ever had."

Gallaher was born in San Diego and moved to Rockford when she was two years old. But the West Coast runs through her veins, so she'll return after finishing up high school.

"I've chosen to follow my dreams and go out to San Diego State University to play, club though," Gallaher said. "Not for the school. I decided to rather go out there and go to my dream college in the environment I want than to stay here and play for a school. I'm hoping to play club and if something were to happen maybe walk on or try out, but still keep soccer in my life, definitely."

While soccer will always be a big part of her life, Gallaher's time at Guilford is coming to a close in the coming weeks.

"I'm trying to stay in the moment," she says. "It really was sinking in last Thursday for senior night a little bit. I definitely had a couple of tears there. I'm going to miss them a lot. Honestly, [they're] some of the best girls I've met and I didn't want to leave them at all."

That bond is something she can take with her to San Diego, but not before trying to shut down a few more opponents with the Lady Vikings this season.

Have a news tip or story idea? Email us at sports@wrex.com

Sports Director

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email dbayne@wrex.com.

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