After helping her varsity lacrosse team reach three straight playoff appearances, Justin-Siena High School’s Lisa Taylor is taking her talents to Durango, Colorado to play attack at Fort Lewis College.
Though Taylor had never played lacrosse before her freshman year, her natural athleticism helped her pick up the nuances of the sport immediately. That allowed her to become a valuable varsity player at the attack position for head coach Noelle MacDougall’s varsity squad early on in her sophomore year.
“I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m somewhat athletic,” Taylor modestly said. “I’ve always had good hand-eye coordination from the beginning, so I knew how to catch and throw pretty quickly. Once I got onto varsity, I just watched how the other girls carried themselves and followed their lead.”
“As she progressed, that confidence just built massively, and it really showed through her senior year,” MacDougall said. “She went from someone who was a good athlete to someone who really was a superstar for us.”
Playing exclusively at attack, Taylor’s role as pure scorer meshes well with her personality, since she thrives when the spotlight is on. She described the mental rush that comes from catching, dodging and weaving her way in for a score is her favorite part about the sport.
“The adrenaline is amazing,” Taylor said. “Just knowing that you can get by a girl and go to the goal and shoot and score and make everyone happy … it’s breathtaking.”
Taylor considered attending the University of Alabama and playing club lacrosse but was drawn to the opportunity and atmosphere that Fort Lewis College presented.
“My father knew one of the professors there,” Taylor said. “I visited it and fell in love with it and then their coach reached out to me. … He said that coach (MacDougall) had talked to him and gave him the gist of my playing and that he would love to have me on the team.”
“I told him this is the kind of athlete you want,” MacDougall said of her meeting with Fort Lewis head coach Sean Claussen. “She will work her butt off. … She may not be your star athlete, but she will be the one that people count on in really tense moments on the field.”
Taylor credits MacDougall as integral in her process of becoming the player she is today.
“(MacDougall) has been incredible,” Taylor explained. “She’s taught me so much about lacrosse. She taught me one of my best shots, which is the riser shot. She taught me how to dodge and get to the net and just be a better attack player in general.”
Taylor will major in forensic psychology at Fort Lewis – a field of study that she says has been influenced by modern television.
“Originally, I just heard about how forensic psychology works and thought it was kind of cool and then started watching shows like Criminal Minds and really fell in love with the idea of that profession.”
While pursuing her degree, Taylor is excited to still be able to enjoy the adrenaline rush that she so desires on the field for four more years.
She says that her only expectations for her lacrosse career at Fort Lewis are to “have fun, win some games and meet new people.”
As MacDougall points out, the small liberal arts college nestled in southern Colorado should be thrilled to have an addition with the positive attitude and drive that Taylor is sure to bring on the field and in the classroom.
“She’s definitely one of the most positive athletes I’ve ever coached,” MacDougall said. “She was such an amazing person to have on our team.”