APTOS—Cabrillo College soccer standout Jasmine Taylor will take her talents to Holy Names University in Oakland this fall.
The Aptos High alumna signed her National Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks—who are part of the NCAA Division II—in front of teammates, coaches and family members Wednesday at Cabrillo.
Taylor said the entire experience went well and it was especially nice because Covid-19 prolonged a lot of moments in her life such as this one.
“So to finally have the moment to where I’ve worked for this entire time is really great,” she said. “It’s just nice to be signed and ready to go somewhere new after three years being at Cabrillo.”
Taylor said she always had her heart set on playing at an NCAA Division II school or higher.
She mentioned that Holy Names University contacted her and made the best offer possible, giving her both an academic and athletic scholarship worth up to 73% of her tuition.
“[It’s] relieving, honestly,” Taylor said. “The recruitment process for me was very difficult in the sense of Covid and teams having the right amount of players who are staying. Having that initial offer come through was pretty relieving, to see all my work of contacting people and trying to get recruited paid off to where it worked out for a Division II [school].”
Taylor also based her decision on playing with a good program. She’ll try to help turn things around for the Hawks women’s soccer program, which finished with an 0-18 overall record this season.
Another huge factor was the school’s location, especially because her family will still be able to watch her play.
Taylor has been playing soccer for the past 16 years and she mentioned that all the work she’s put in has definitely paid off.
Taylor’s dad was active in athletics growing up and he always envisioned his children competing in sports, as well.
Taylor began playing soccer at four years old and she went through her entire schooling competing. She got into a more competitive level at nine years old and started falling in love with the sport.
“It just kind of has been a big thing, practicing every day since I was little,” she said.
Taylor also played softball at nine years old and she competed in that sport until she entered her freshman year at Aptos High.
From there on out, she decided to focus on her soccer career. Taylor got a chance to shine as a senior under the helm of Jordyn Ryfiak, who took over the program for the 2018 season.
“It was a good experience for me at that point,” Taylor said.
Taylor also mentioned that joining the Santa Cruz City Youth Soccer Club helped her refine her skills on the pitch. She was under the guidance of head coach Poul Schieben on the 18-U Jaws team.
“Playing for this team had a big impact on my life,” Taylor said.
Taylor signed up with the Jaws club team when she was 14 years old and she was already playing with the 18-U team. She continued to compete with the club until she turned 18 and decided to make the move to Cabrillo College.
Taylor said she was just looking to get an upgrade on a team and found that working with the older girls made her better, stronger and more confident.
“Everybody was just pretty supportive and helped me with everything,” she said. “It was a good experience at a young age to go through.”
Taylor said it’s great to get another chance to extend her soccer career and she’s looking forward to her first semester at Holy Names.
“I’m just looking forward to the new opportunity to start fresh and just excel academically and athletically,” she said.