MADISON TOWNSHIP — She led her team to a state championship a week ago, signed a national letter of intent with the University of Tennessee a few days ago and was introduced as Ohio’s Ms. Soccer on Friday afternoon.
It’s been a whirlwind seven-day stretch for Taylor Huff and the Madison senior will celebrate the only way she knows how.
"I have a game tomorrow,” she said with a laugh.
Huff became her school’s — and Richland County’s — first-ever recipient of the award, presented annually to the state’s top player regardless of division by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.
“It’s been a crazy week, but definitely exciting,” Huff said. “This ranks at the top. It’s crazy that out of everyone in Ohio, I was chosen. It’s definitely an honor to get it.”
Huff put the exclamation point a sensational prep career by piloting the Rams to the Division II state title last week. The Rams beat Granville 2-1 for the first girls soccer state title in school history.
Huff had an assist in the title match, giving her 27 on the season and 93 in her career. She became Ohio’s career assists leader early in Madison’s postseason run.
“She’s the best player I’ve ever played with,” said freshman Nevaeh Lewis, who scored both goals in the state championship game. “Playing with her is a dream come true.”
In addition to her 93 assists, Huff scored 133 career goals. She ranks 11th on Ohio’s career goals list.
“You always hear people say the best player on the team has to be the hardest worker and she fulfills that, too,” said Zac Huff, Madison’s coach and Taylor’s father. “She’s always the first one in drills. She never takes plays off.”
Huff plays club soccer for the Medina-based Internationals Girls Soccer Club. Internationals is regarded as one of the premier youth club programs in the nation.
“Taylor has abilities and potential to be in consideration for our national pool. She’s that gifted and that good,” said Zdravko Popovic, the club’s founder and president. “She has God-given natural talent but talent alone is not good enough. She’s driven, she’s committed, she’s disciplined and she’s inspiring.
“She not only works hard, but she competes every day. With that kind of approach, I believe her journey is going to be bright and rewarding.”
Huff’s journey will take her to Knoxville, Tenn., next fall. The Volunteers finished the fall season at 4-4-1 after a 4-2 loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC quarterfinals earlier this week.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Huff said.
Before then, however, Huff will play her club season with Internationals.
“I rested over the weekend and started Internationals on Tuesday,” she said. “I practiced Tuesday and Thursday and I’ll play a game (Saturday).
“I got a few days off, so that’s pretty good for me. I’m ready to get back into it.”