BLOG: Schram Continues to Cement Legacy with Nittany Lions

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<b>Senior Taylor Schram</b>

Senior Taylor Schram

Oct. 31, 2013

By Matt Allibone, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When asked to describe what aspect of soccer senior captain Taylor Schram excels at the most, Penn State women's soccer head coach Erica Walsh is forced to stop and think.

For a player that has exhibited one the most complete skill sets that Walsh has ever witnessed, pointing out just one quality is nearly impossible.

"(Taylor) is a player with great first touch who's very tricky," said Walsh. "She's very good in the air and she can read a play better than most."

Those traits are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what Walsh will remember most about Schram when her career as a Nittany Lion is complete.

What comes to mind the most for Walsh when she reminisces about Schram is the attitude that the Canonsburg, Pa. native has exhibited over the past four years.

"I'll always think about her celebrations after goals," said Walsh. "She has a different kind of swagger than most collegiate soccer players."

It is that swagger coupled with her all-around game and ability to play both forward and midfield that makes opposing teams sweat when they pay a visit to Jeffrey Field.

On a team filled with other established stars such as senior forward Maya Hayes and junior defender Whitney Church, it is Schram that draws the attention of opponents the most.

"She is one of the players in the conference that opponents fear the most," said Walsh. "I hear from other coaches that more than anyone else, they think Taylor Schram runs the show for us."



The fire that the 2011 All-Big Ten selection uses to strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenders is the same one that she uses to inspire her teammates.

Named a co-captain prior to this season, Schram is not afraid to be intense and vocal when it comes to leading the players around her.

"Taylor works as hard as anyone on the field," said sophomore forward Mallory Weber. "She's not afraid to tell you how it is and she has every right to because of how hard she works."

Although she is easily one of the most forceful leaders on the Nittany Lions, Schram also has a lighthearted side to her as well.

It is her playful side that has endeared her to the All-American Hayes, who has long been one of Schram's closest friends.

"She's a player that can switch it [the intensity] on and off which is something you want in a leader," said Hayes. "She knows how to be fun and outgoing but also serious when it's time to get everyone's mentality right."

Hayes, who along with Schram leads the Nittany Lions in minutes played, said that the bond between the two has become so tight that the pair can communicate on the field without needing to speak to each other.

After playing with her for four years, Schram knows Hayes well enough to know when the Nittany Lions leading goal scorer is looking for the ball and where to deliver it to her without having to open up her mouth.

"It's fun to play with her because we read off each other and we really just click," said Hayes. "She's all over the field and if there's one thing you know it is that she's going to bring her best effort game in and game out."

Although Schram appreciates the praise from her coaches and teammates, she still believes it is a bit early for everyone to start putting her career in perspective.

With one final postseason push just around the corner for the Nittany Lions, the senior knows that her legacy is not yet complete.

"I want to make a lasting imprint on this program and my friends on this team," said Schram. "I'm trying to enjoy the last few weeks I have here and make the most out of them."

Still, Schram admitted that with her final season coming to an end, she's been beginning to get a bit nostalgic.

For a player that has watched the Nittany Lions grow from an 11-10-2 team her freshman year to National runners up last season, Schram can't imagine leaving the program behind.

"It's really started to sink in the last couple of days," said Schram. "I've been thinking about the past four years a lot lately and it's sad but also exciting because it gives us that much more to play for."

However this season does play out for the Nittany Lions, the legacy that Schram has already created will be remembered fondly by those who coached and played with her.

Though the Blue and White have featured many players throughout the years that can do many of the things Schram can do, there have been few that have displayed the complete package of skills the way she has.

"I haven't come across any players in the recruiting cycle that are anything like her," said Walsh. "I think you can replace some of the pieces but you can't replace all of them and you can't replace the attitude that she walks around with."

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