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Women’s History Month Interview Series: Sky Blue FC soccer player, Taylor Lytle

For Sky Blue FC’s Taylor Lytle, soccer was always a part of her future.

(Courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

(Courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

 

For Sky Blue FC’s Taylor Lytle, soccer was always a part of her future.

“It was always my dream,” she said. “I think after the 1999 World Cup, girls my age fell in love with it and wanted to become a better player.”

A better player is exactly what Lytle became, allowing the admiration she had for her older brother Ryan pave the way for a bright future in the sport she loved most. A youth national champ and an NCAA student athlete, Ryan served as a constant reminder for what she wanted to be.

Lytle is a graduate of Texas Tech, where she said there was an emphasis and equal focus on being a student as much as being an athlete.

“At Tech, our main thing was that we were a student-athlete,” said Lytle when asked about current NCAA regulations. “You travel a lot and you miss a lot of school, but I think it helps you grow up because you have to go to classes and take care of things outside of the classroom. It was hard to be a student but it helped me mature and grow as a person.”

Lytle gained a skillset and a familiar teammate from Texas Tech after one season with Sky Blue FC. Hayley Haagsma, her former teammate in college and current Sky Blue teammate, was drafted by the club in 2014.

“It was awesome when we drafted her,” said Lytle. “She’s from California so I know it’s a big change for her too, It’s nice to have someone to lean onto. We were injured at the same time, so it was nice having someone to rehab with”

Taylor reported back to New York from her home state of New Mexico earlier this month and spoke about the adjustments she had to make, not only with the weather, but also her game.

“Everyone is just as good and as strong as you,” she said. “It was one of the challenges that you like because it helps you become a better player. I enjoy the new experience, but definitely have to prepare mentally for the weather.”

While enjoying the sunshine on the West Coast, Lytle shared a bit of insight about what being a woman in sports means to her and also shared a few of her favorites memories.

If she could change one thing about women in sports, it would be that they can do the same thing that men can do.

“We all take the same pact of wanting to work hard for what you want in life to achieve the dream,” Taylor said. “People don’t understand that women playing professional sports do exactly what men do, but with a lot less. It’s frustrating because people don’t recognize what we have to give up and how much we put into being professional athletes.”

Among the professional female athletes, Taylor said that Mia Hamm is someone she looks up to and admires.

“She started the push for female athletes that they can do anything that they want.”

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