From a young age, many athletes dream of one day playing in the Olympics and for the university’s field hockey junior Taylor Lister, that dream may become a reality.
After winning the National Championship this past fall, the Pennsylvania native has earned the opportunity to practice and train with the U.S. National Developmental Squad in hopes of one day joining the United States National Field Hockey Team.
“It has always been a goal in the back of my mind,” Lister said. “I have been playing within the pipeline of the U.S. team since I was in seventh grade with Futures in middle and high school and High Performance in college.”
The Developmental Squad’s training camp took place this past weekend at Duke University.
“We practice two-a-days,” Lister said. “So today [Thursday] we practiced from 2 to 4 and 6 to 7, Friday is 9 to 11 and 4 to 6 and then Saturday is 8 to 10 and 12 to 2.”
This past weekend is not the only testament to the hard work Lister has put forth in her field hockey career. Her offseason is filled with practices and added training. Her hard work throughout her three years at Delaware is evident through her performance –– she scored five goals this past season compared to two her freshman year as well as earned 21 points in her 2016 season increasing her season total by six from 2015.
“Most of last spring and summer I was driving to Philly to compete in high-performance training,” Lister said. “It was a time commitment, but 100 percent worth it.”
Lister has always had a solid support system surrounding her from the start of her field hockey career. It includes her family and several coaches who have immensely impacted her along the way as someone both on and off the field.
“My family –– mom, dad and brother Andrew –– always told me to reach for my goals and always believed in me when I thought I couldn’t do something,” Lister said. “My high school coach Linda Kreiser, an Olympian herself, always believed in me even when I didn’t have a lot of skill. She said I had raw talent and you can’t teach that. She was my inspiration to pursue field hockey.”
Delaware Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof is thrilled about Lister’s opportunity for both her personal growth as well as the different skills and techniques she can bring back to the team from U.S.A. Field Hockey.
“Taylor’s involvement and interaction with the U.S. National Developmental Squad will be a win-win situation for all –– United States field hockey, UD field hockey and Taylor as an individual,” van de Kerkhof said. “I am positive she will become a better player, leader and person for the Blue Hens and perhaps one day an official member of Team U.S.A.”
Backing up her selection to the U.S. Developmental Squad is Lister’s recent performance on the dominating Delaware team. She finished this past season with 21 points, 11 assists and five goals. She was named an NFHCA Regional First Team All-American and CAA All-Tournament performer as well as chosen to the NCAA All-Tournament Team and the CAA All-First Team.
Lister and the rest of the Developmental Squad have three more training camps in preparation for the Young Women’s National Championship in June.
Lister is greatly appreciative and is more than excited to see where this will all lead her.
“This would mean the world to me, achieving this goal would be so huge,” Lister said.