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Dec, 2018

Walsh’s Ceepo Wraps Up Successful Collegiate Career

Taylor Ceepo has been a star for Walsh University.  She’s been a major part of the program’s recent record-breaking success.

The team’s record in 2008 was an astonishing 15-5-1 as they finished third in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC).  Their season included quarterfinal and semifinal wins over Cedarville and Trevecca Nazarene in the conference tournament.  Their run in that tourney ended with a loss to Ohio Valley in the final.

The Medina, Ohio native was part of the winningest senior class in program history as she led Walsh to a record of 46-23-8 over four seasons.  The 2018 season also saw Walsh make it to the NCAA Tournament for the very first time.  The Cavaliers were able to defeat Saginaw Valley in the first round before falling to #1 ranked Grand Valley State in that competition.

It was an amazing ride for all involved.

“I have loved playing soccer at the collegiate level,” Ceepo commented. “Being a part of the Walsh University women’s soccer program has been a blessing.  My freshmen year, the team’s record was 6-8-3.  By senior year, our record was 15-5-1.  Additionally, we made it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, making it to the second round.  I am so proud to be a part of that.  To grow that much in four years is amazing.  However, no matter how many wins or losses, I feel the best thing that Walsh women’s soccer has brought me is friendships that will last a lifetime.”

The central midfielder made 51 appearances for the Cavaliers, registering one goal and one assist over four seasons.  She was a regular in the Walsh lineup, making an impact on both sides of the ball.

Clearly many memories were made, but Ceepo had a favorite.

“My most memorable moment was scoring my first college goal and then after, hearing and seeing all of the support from my teammates made it so much more memorable.”

David Renard, head women’s soccer coach at Walsh, spoke very highly of Ceepo’s contributions.

“We have been very fortunate to have Taylor in our program for the past four years,” Renard said. “What makes Taylor special as a player is how driven and mentally strong she is.  She trains as hard as anyone and has been a great example to the younger kids in our program.  She played a big role for our team and we can't thank her and our senior class enough for the standard they set for our program for years to come.”

That standard has made Walsh one of the top programs in all of Division II.

“There are many quality and skilled players at the DII level,” Ceepo continued. “I think Division II soccer is pretty challenging especially in the Midwest region. As an example, Grand Valley State University, who has won the GLIAC and NCAA championship countless times, was an opponent we had to face in the second round of the NCAA playoffs this year. Grand Valley along with many teams in the DII game could compete at the DI level with no problem. Several of our spring games have been against DI schools including Kent State and Youngstown State, in which we competed well. As far as the G-MAC, the player quality is high making every game a fight and challenge. On any given day, any team can win.”

All of this collegiate success started with Internationals SC and the Elite Clubs National League. (ECNL).

“Considering I played for the Internationals from ages 8-18 most everything I am as a player is due to Zdravko Popovic, Keri Sarver, and the Internationals SC,” Ceepo said. “From ages 8-10 I played on the U10 team because there wasn’t a U8/U9 team. Playing with older girls forced me to develop faster as a player and become more confident in my skills. From age 8-U12, my team mostly played in GAASA and OYSAN. During my U13-U14 years we played in the USYSA National League. From U15-U18, we played in the ECNL.  The club really developed and progressed while I was there. In my last four years with the club we played in arguably the most competitive league available to the girl’s game.”

“The ECNL was a very competitive league and can really help prepare players for the collegiate game,” Ceepo added. “The competition on the field and the quality players are some of the best in the country. Playing in the ECNL the last four years of club was an awesome experience. My team was challenged every single game and had to put in the work on and off the practice field to succeed. The time commitment and mental aspect of soccer that the ECNL brought also prepared me well for what college soccer would bring.” 

So many, including Sarver, are impressed with Ceepo’s dedication and accomplishments.

“Taylor Ceepo is an example of what we call a lifetime member.  She joined the club at the age of eight and, although she graduated from our program four years ago, she never truly left.  She stays in touch with and trains with our staff, attends club events, and supports her younger sister, who is a current 2002 in our program, from the sidelines. As a youth player, Taylor had a high level of soccer intelligence and ability to read the game, she is also technically sound with excellent passing ability.  We knew that she would make an impact at the college level and are so happy for her success in helping the program at Walsh reach new levels. What we are most impressed with and proud of is who Taylor is as a person – she was always a respectful and dedicated club member and now to see her move on from an excellent undergraduate program at Walsh to medical school is amazing!”

The beautiful game has taught Ceepo so much about life.

“In general, playing soccer has taught me so much about myself, perseverance, leadership, passion, making sacrifices, and being a teammate.  Playing soccer in college has only reinforced everything I’ve learned.  I think the biggest thing college soccer taught me was to accept and embrace whatever role I was given for that specific season.  Although that role may not have been exactly what I wanted, without every single unit embracing their role we would fail.  I think this helped me really learn what being a great teammate means.”

Now that her collegiate career, Ceepo has big plans for the future. 

“After graduation, I plan on going to medical school. I am not sure what I want to specialize in, but I am interested in emergency medicine, obstetrics, and pediatrics.”

Ceepo has high hopes for the future and if the past is any indication, she will be very successful indeed.

Photo Credit: Chris Bowman

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