By BRIAN JENNINGS
Taylor Hubert inked her name on an NCAA Letter of Intent on Wednesday, May 2 in the high school’s library to continue her soccer career at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. and play for the Division II Warriors this coming fall. She said that it came down to Division II Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. and Merrimack.
Hubert said that she was so between both schools, and it was a tough decision for her to make. But after she experienced her overnight stay with the girls soccer team at Merrimack, she said that she just knew they were the ones.
“When I met the girls soccer team, they took me in, and I felt like I was already part of the team,” said Hubert. “I just loved how it was like a family environment…kind of like my Southington High School soccer team. Not only was it sports, but academics too. I decided that this was the right fit.”
Merrimack has one of the top women’s soccer programs in New England and competes in the Northeast 10 Conference, which includes Adelphi, Franklin Pierce, and local Connecticut schools New Haven and Southern Connecticut. Gabe Mejail will be her head coach.
“It was definitely a stressful process, knowing if the coach likes you or not,” said Hubert. “But I made sure that I worked my hardest. The Merrimack coach came to one of my last games during the season, and he really liked me. It was just meant to be.”
Hubert said that her cousin attended Merrimack as well and graduated in the 1980s. Her cousin was a goalkeeper and also played under Mejail. Family might have influenced Hubert decision to attend Merrimack, but nevertheless, she said that Mejail is a great coach.
“When I first met him, I noticed that he had all of the pictures of the teams from each year,” said Hubert. “not only did he want to be successful, but he also had a good connection with his players.”
Hubert began her soccer career when she joined the Southington Soccer Club where she developed a strong technical foundation and understanding of the game. She was coached by her father Kevin Hubert and Jim Imme. Both were accomplished college soccer players.
She quickly progressed as a youth player and eventually joined the FSA, FC premier soccer club in Farmington, CT to continue her development playing top premier clubs throughout the Northeast.
Hubert made an immediate impact on the Lady Knight soccer team when she arrived as a freshman in 2014 and was a starter for the past four years. A versatile player, she was able to play anywhere, but she competed mostly as a midfielder.
“This certainly will make her an asset as she enters college,” said Southington coach Mike Linehan. “I’m jealous of what Merrimack will have the opportunity to experience. Taylor can play any position on the field, which has made her that diverse player that she is today. I’m not surprised that a college coach picked that up right away.”
As a senior this past season, Hubert helped her team reach the second round of the Class LL Tournament, which had not been accomplished in years.
“Taylor and her teammates helped set a new standard for Southington High School over the past four years,” said Linehan. “Her accomplishments, both on the field and in the classroom, set her apart as a role model for other players to follow. We wish Taylor the best of luck in her college career as she transitions from a Lady Knight to a Warrior.”
Hubert is enrolled in the honors program and said that she plans to study accounting with aspirations of starting her own clothing store.
“If I had a background in accounting, I would be able to start my own business, potentially,” said Hubert.
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Photos by BRIAN JENNINGS