PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Once Alyssa Taylor concluded her freshman year playing for the Manhattanville College womens ice hockey team, she traded her skates for a pair of cleats and a glove.
Instead of relaxing and enjoying the remainder of the spring semester, Taylor auditioned for the softball team and made it. So began the annual right of spring for the Craik, Saskatchewan native and current junior.
Taylor had four goals and 19 assists for the ice hockey team, which reached the East Coast Athletic Conference East title game. A pitcher on the softball team, Taylor is currently 6-5 with a 2.63 earned run average for the Lady Valiants, who are 16-13.
Even though Taylors high school did not have an ice hockey or softball team, the versatile student-athlete played on club teams more than an hour from her home.
Although I was recruited for hockey, I was very happy about the encouragement of the athletes to play two sports at Manhattanville, said Taylor, a business management major. One of the main reasons I enjoy softball season is its a change of scenery from the winter season and the rink.
Taylor spends her summer preparing for hockey season and it intensifies when she returns to Manhattanville for school.
My preparation over the summer for hockey mainly focuses on running, lifting weights and playing summer hockey. Taylor said. I also play 3-on-3 hockey which allows me to get on the ice before the season starts. When I return to school, the hockey season focuses on conditioning and upper/lower body weight training which strengthens us for the upcoming season.
Whereas softball, you can lift weights to strengthen yourself but not too heavy. So we usually want to go lighter in the gym.
Taylor, who also focuses on pitching while home for the summer, makes time to throw during hockey season. Taylor said she does this to strengthen her arm and so she does not fall behind.
I love being able to play both sports, Taylor said. Going from one sport to the next just gives me a little break from the other, but by the end of the season I am usually ready to play the next sport.
Taylor has achieved success in hockey and softball and has maintained a level of excellence in the classroom. She understands playing two sports does not leave that much time for her schoolwork, but Taylor has always had balance.
Balancing homework and class work as a two-sport athlete is tough, so you have to make sure youre on top of homework at all times, even if it means taking your work on the road with you and doing it before its actually due, Taylor said.
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