As Team U.S.A. Field Hockey gets ready for what could be one of their toughest tests at the London Olympics, a Tuesday matchup with Argentina, former Syracuse University star Shannon Taylor can think back to her team's win over that same field hockey powerhouse back in October.
It was Taylor who scored a clutch goal in the American's 4-2 win over Argentina at the Pan American Games, a win that not only qualified the U.S. for the Olympics, but gave them the mindset that they can go for gold.
"We've actually come very far from the last tournament we played in at (the Pan Am Games)," says Taylor, "we've been working a lot of goal scoring and finishing off those small opportunities you get, because every team you face is going to be hard, so every chance we get we're going to have to finish."
Taylor is the first player from the SU Field Hockey team to ever compete at the Olympics, and is definitely making the most of it. She was the leading goal scorer on the team heading into the London Games, but says she doesn't feel the pressure to do it all.
"I know my teammates are going to back me no matter what. If a goal gets missed or a chance gets missed I know that we're going to come right back and go after another one."
"She hates to lose," admits her former Head Coach at SU Ange Bradley ,"I mean she's that I in win. It doesn't matter who she is playing, she wants to win. She has such desire and persistence, and just resolve that you're not going to quit, you're just gonna find a way to get it done.
Taylor tallied 31 goals and 17 assists in her senior season at SU, leading the Orange to a 22-2 record and Final Four appearance. The First-Team All-American and First Team All-Big East player was also named the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player. While Taylor is literally wearing her national pride on her chest now, she says she can't help but think back at her time in Syracuse as she competes on the worlds biggest stage.
"You set those goals when you're little, or you sit and think about those things as you sit and watch the Olympics," reflected Taylor, "you don't actually think that you're ever going to be there until it starts to become a reality for you. To know and to feel all the support from your family and high school and college and all these people who are backing us when we go, it just puts a smile on your face."