Taylor Pratcher following her dream
Delaware State’s women’s soccer program is a good fit for Taylor Pratcher in the same way that Trumbull High drew the Milford native and Harborside Middle School graduate out of the city— the sciences.
“Delaware State has a great science program,” she said. “I love the Agriscience program at Trumbull.
“Freshman and sophomore year we went through animal and plant science technology and went over the genetics involved. Then, we studied agricultural mechanical technology and biotechnology.
“Right now, I’m studying plant science and learning about watering systems.
“Plant science is more of an interest, not a passion, but I want to continue in those fields of study.”
Soccer has been Pratcher’s passion from a young age.
“I was the only female when I got together with my cousins and began playing,” she said.
“Mark Morazes was my first coach when playing for Milford United Soccer and he was tough and fair at the same time.
“With Yankee United, Nicki Pereira was the same way and continued to help me grow as a player.
“I guess I had to be tough. I don’t like losing and still don’t take it well. That’s why this season was so great.”
Trumbull (12-1-3) was seeded fifth in Class LL, where it defeated Westhill of Stamford 3-2 and No. 4 Mercy of Middletown 2-1, before losing 1-0 to top-seeded Glastonbury High in the semifinals.
“Our communication on defense was key for us,” Pratcher said. “I’ve played beside Gabby Reggiano since earning varsity time my sophomore year.
“Emily Doris and Alanna Lynch did a great job in goal, and we had a great group of midfielders and forwards.
“With a relatively young team, Gabby and I took a role of attacking from the back and had fun with that.
“I loved my time with my teammates. We’re closer this year than any of the four years and everyone contributed. The common goal for every class was to win.”
“Playing in the FCIAC is comparable to playing at a high level of Premier soccer. Decision making has to be on point and being mentally fit every minute is important.
“Our team goal began with defense and we built our confidence from there. It allows us to control the game.
“I’m looking forward to college. The coach is a great guy and the team is committed to winning.”
Coach Peter Hulem’s Hornets compete in the NCAA Division I Great West Conference, where they lost a 1-0 postseason decision to South Carolina State in Orem, Utah to finish 3-11-1 overall and a program-best 2-3 in GWC play.
“I really enjoyed my visit,” said Pratcher, who liked the team’s defensive style. “I know one of the seven new recruits, plus I played on the same Yankee United team as (rising junior out of Bunnell High) Chelsea Bourisquot.”
This spring, Pratcher will compete on the track in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay.
“It’s not necessarily more pressure as an individual, because we are all there cheering each other on,” she said.
“My mom Aleshia and dad Alex have always been there for me. My dad wrestled in high school and my mom was involved in all types of student activities. They keep me grounded while being my biggest supporters.
“They always told me to simply do me best. And, if I have a bad game to learn from it and take that back with me on to the field.”
“I think every senior class wants to do something special,” Pratcher said of her final scholastic season.
“We were ten strong with a good group of underclassmen and I believe we did what we wanted to do.”