Glastonbury High School senior Alayna Taylor will be living out her childhood dream for the next four years.
Starting next fall, Taylor will be playing Division I soccer for the University of Connecticut.
“UConn was my number one pick and my dream school since I was younger,” said Taylor. “I knew it was the perfect place for me.”
Taylor verbally committed to Connecticut’s largest college in September of last year and made her commitment official during the school’s National Letter of Intent Day signing on Nov. 10.
GHS head coach Mark Landers said that Taylor’s competitive fire and position versatility will be a major asset at the next level.
“She can play anywhere on the field,” added Landers, who also praised her leadership. “Her character, speed, athleticism, and that versatility will serve her well with an up and rising program at Storrs.”
A four-year varsity player at GHS, Taylor has earned all-conference the past two seasons.
She was a freshman in 2019 when Glastonbury won the Class LL championship, defeating Southington in the title bout. Taylor said the championship triumph was her most memorable moment at the school, yet it was her bond with her teammates that she will miss the most.
“We were definitely like a family. Most of the seniors have played together since we were very young, so just playing together this final season was such an amazing experience,” said Taylor, who was one of dozen seniors that helped the Guardians reach the state semifinal round this fall. “We were all so close, on and off the field.”
Her journey to Storrs began at five years old when her parents signed her up for youth soccer. Taylor said originally soccer was a way to have fun with friends, but quickly turned into a lifestyle.
“I grew such a love for the sport as I got older,” said Taylor. “Soccer means so much to me; basically I couldn't live without it. It is such a huge passion and what I spend all my time with. It brings me the most joy.”
Along with playing for the school, Taylor also played club soccer locally at CFC (Connecticut Football Club) and is finishing up her busy high school soccer career playing for FSA (Farmington Sports Arena) Premier League.
When Taylor is not consumed with playing soccer, she looks for way to improve by going for a run or working out.
At GHS, she also found time to participate in Advisory and Big Siblings
Next fall, Taylor will join a Huskies team in Storrs led by head coach Margaret Rodriguez, who will be entering her sixth season on the sidelines.
Taylor will also be reuniting with 2020-GHS graduate Chloe Landers, who was an all-state senior on the 2019 Glastonbury title team, and 2022-GHS graduate Sophia Haussmann.
“I’m looking forward to playing with a large group of amazing players,” Taylor said of joining the Huskies. “I’m excited for another second family.”
Taylor plans to study Exercise Science and eventually go into the Physical Therapy in an effort to stay around athletics.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin