Mass. Maritime's Billy Taylor gets offensive
October 2, 2016
By John Johnson, Globe Correspondent
With three goals through seven games, Billy Taylor has already exceeded his offensive production from his freshman season at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The sophomore from Hanover got the Bucs off on the right foot by netting the game-winning goal in a 3-0 season-opening victory over Becker.
The 6-foot-1 Taylor scored two goals last year, including the game winner in a 2-1 victory over Framingham State. The most memorable goal in his soccer career remains the game-winning tally against Cardinal Spellman in the Gerrish Cup during his senior year at Hanover. The 2-1 victory broke Spellman’s undefeated record. “It was a huge upset for us,” Taylor said. “No one expected us to win that game, but we outworked Spellman for 90 minutes. My goal was just a result of the team’s hard work.”
Q. How is the team looking this season?
A. We’re looking very strong. We have excellent leadership from our three captains, both on and off the field. Our roster has a lot of depth, so there isn’t any dropoff in talent from the starting 11 to the players coming off the bench.
Q. Is there a specific team goal?
A. The goal this year is the same as years past: Win the MASCAC Championship, and compete in the NCAA tournament.
Q. Your offensive numbers are already exceeding those from last year. Are you doing anything differently this season?
A. We are playing a more offensive formation this season, which is allowing me to get into better scoring positions. The team’s aggressive style of play this year better suits my individual style.
Q. What is your biggest asset when you’re on the field?
A. I’d say my size. I’m typically one of the larger players on the field, which allows me to play at a level of physicality that other players can’t match. My size allows me to hold up the ball better, and win 50-50 balls easily.
Q. Can you describe your role in your leadership position within the Regiment of Cadets at MMA?
A. As a squad leader, I am responsible for overseeing a platoon of 71 freshman cadets. I have been with these cadets since they started their two-week orientation over the summer, and it has been my job to get them acclimated to the school. It is a difficult adjustment for students who are not used to a paramilitary lifestyle. As an assistant discipline officer, it is also my duty to enforce the discipline side of the regiment.
Q. Is there a professional soccer player you emulate, and why?
A. Peter Crouch. He is a threat anywhere on the field in the air, especially inside the 18-yard box, which is where I score almost all of my goals.