The Camdenton Lady Lakers have benefited from a number of talented players, both past and present, but one name now holds a distinction which no other Laker has held before: scoring 20 or more goals in four consecutive seasons of varsity action.
That honor is now held by Camdenton's senior Miriam Taylor. After the team played in the Moberly Tournament this past weekend, in which they defeated Kirksville 6-1 and tied with Moberly in a 3-3 contest, the Lady Lakers took on West Plains on Tuesday night in an Ozark Conference battle.
Camdenton won the contest 10-0 to improve to 7-4-1 on the season. Taylor scored three goals on the night, which put her at 20 on the season, clenching that record.
When Coach J.D. Hunter informed her of her accomplishment, Taylor's reply was simple.
"I couldn't have done it without the team."
It's a tough task, especially when you consider our schedule," Hunter said. "Miriam gets it done against large schools and gets it done consistently. She works hard all of the time. She's the first on the field, and always works to achieve her small goals."
When she first came into Hunter's program, she just had speed.
"We knew she had talent," Hunter said. "She was such an immediate success on our team. I did not know she would score as many goals as she has. When we were playing Moberly last weekend, we were trailing 3-2 through the entire second half, and Miriam had the chance to tie it up on a pretty routine goal for her. She missed it. I immediately was thinking that I needed to take her out and calm her down. So I say 'Miriam', and she looks over at me and says 'I'm fine, I've got this.' And she scores three minutes later to tie it up. To me, that is the difference between Miriam as a junior and Miriam as a senior."
She has now developed into the full package, a force other teams must take into account on the field.
Taylor is one of the key pieces in the talented Laker soccer team, and is the team's leading scorer.
"I could never have imagined this," Taylor said. "It's really shocking. After my freshman year, I got 21. My sophomore year was nerve-racking, because I thought 'Maybe freshman year was just a fluke', and here we are. But I'm proud of myself and especially my team for helping me get that far."
Taylor began playing soccer at the age of nine, though it was on-and-off. She didn't even plan to play soccer her freshman year, but her mother convinced her to do so, which now, Taylor can only be thankful for, as her efforts on the field will lead her to playing soccer for Lewis and Clark next fall at the college level.
Page 2 of 2 - Taylor attributes her success to her team, speed and hard work.
"I never scored without a pass," Taylor said. "My speed helped a lot, and hard work. I never though I was too good to work hard."
When asked what this accomplishment meant to her, Taylor responded with a smile.
"It means I've done something right," she said, laughing. "Our main goal is to win districts. I don't care how many goals I score, I just want us to win. Scoring is fun, but celebrating is my favorite thing, regardless of who scored the goal."
Knowing her time at Camdenton will soon come to an end, Taylor wishes she could stay longer.
"Playing under those lights is like no other thing," Taylor said. "I think I'll miss it more than I think I will. We have a lot of fun. I would literally do anything for anyone on this team. They mean the world to me. I have the best memories of my high school career on this field."