Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 15 No. 3 | December 2022

18 Inside Hokie Sports A golden opportunity arose as the soccer ball slowly dribbled to the far right side, orange jerseys converging on all sides of the shaded Albert-Daly field. Virginia Tech’s captain Tori Powell received a wide pass from fellow junior Riley McCarthy. As Powell surveyed her options, the young freshman Taylor Price, who was making her first collegiate start, sauntered into the box with her eyes fixed on Powell. Powell saw the potential for a beautiful play and struck a centering pass for Price to work with. Price lifted her right leg to meet the ball with a powerful karate-like kick to smack the go-ahead goal over the William & Mary Tribe. The goal was not only a marvelous play on its own but the start to a season full of special moments for Price. “It lit a fire under me and was what motivated me to score in other games,” Price recalled. “Scoring that goal in my first game was the perfect start to the season and something to build off of.” Coming into Blacksburg, Price had been a highly skilled star for her club and high school teams. She was the Offensive Player of the Year with 50 registered points at Briar Woods High School and won four conference titles with TSJ FC Virginia. When Price arrived in town, she was certainly expected to make her presence felt early. “Coming in, I definitely knew I wanted to make an impact for the team so it was really special to come in and score some goals and make an impact as a freshman.” Price said. Some of these expectations could have put the pressure on Price to do too much, but she certainly didn’t see it that way. She relished the challenge of high expectations and used it to fuel her desires for how the season could play out. “We set goals at the beginning of the season and one of mine was to be one of the starting forwards and to maintain that spot for the rest of the season”, Price explained. “That was something I was working for every day in preseason and every day throughout the season.” It is safe to say that Price’s wish from earlier in the year was accomplished in full. Not only did Price start in all 19 games for the Hokies, but she was one of the standout freshmen in the ACC. In her first five starts, the fantastic freshman notched four goals and an assist. “Consistently scoring goals kept building my confidence more and more,” Price said. “In practice, I would take more opportunities which led to me taking more goal scoring opportunities in games.” The highlight of Price’s scalding hot start to her career came in the Hokies match versus Old Dominion where she racked up a goal and an assist . The latter play was set up well by Price for Powell to strike and deliver Tech’s second goal of three in the victory over the Monarchs. Price’s pretty feed returned the favor to Powell from game one of the season, and a special connection was formed. By Will Locklin Hokie forward shines at Thompson Field Continued on page 20