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Friday, October 16, 2015

Taylor Bucklin named ESPNW Soccer Player of the Week. -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


When I talked with UofL head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes before the season, one of the first things she indicated to me was that there was a highly competitive battle going on for goalkeeper. 

Incumbent junior Paige Brown, red-shirt freshman Victoria Gabor and junior Michigan transfer Taylor Bucklin had all caught the eye of Ferguson-Dayes and goalkeeper coach Rade Tanaskovic as possible starters. 

It was Brown who got the majority of the early season starts for goal against Kent State, Kentucky, SEMO, UAB and Ole Miss but Bucklin was seeing time as well against Wright State and Washington. When ACC conference play rolled around Bucklin got the start against Boston College and has started the last seven in a row. 

ESPNW named her Soccer Player of the Week for her shutout effort against Duke and 2-1 win over North Carolina. It was an effort that saw her make 18 saves and face 54 shots. In the seven games prior to these that Bucklin started in...35 saves and faced 82 shots. 

She and Brown are good friends and told CARDINAL COUPLE that it was the competition between the two that has made them both better players.

" I cheer for Paige when she is out there and she does the same for me. We're both just trying to help the team win."

For Taylor, there were several stops before landing at Louisville. 

As a freshman at Michigan, she set the program single-season records for wins, shutouts and save percentages for a team that reached the quarterfinals. She lost her starting role to a freshman last season though and started looking around for other opportunities and saw the value of coming to Louisville and playing in the tough ACC.

Her first two years of high school were at Greenwich, CT. She then transferred to Trinity for her final two years but withdrew in her junior year and was home schooled the rest of her junior year while in training for the Canada U17 World National team. She enrolled in Brookfield for senior year.

Bucklin (or Brown?) will face another stiff test Saturday night when college women's soccer's new #1 FSU comes to Lynn Stadium. After that, it's a trip to #2 Virginia. 

ACC. It's never easy...any night, any sport.


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