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Laxin' & Relaxin': Taylor Carpentier

Garden CIty's Taylor Carpentier (May 2, 2013)

Garden CIty's Taylor Carpentier (May 2, 2013) (Credit: Bob Sorensen)

In this player profile, we bring you Garden City goalie Taylor Carpentier. In her first year as a starter, the junior has proved more than capable with 116 saves, helping her team to a 15-1 record.

Carpentier has successfully succeeded some stellar lacrosse predecessors at her position. Kelly Weis held the position for four years and was a two-time All-American, and she was followed last year by Megan McDonald, an Under Armour All-American. But Carpentier has held her own.

She helped lead the Trojans soccer team to the Class A semifinals, the basketball team to a county championship, and is now a key part of a lacrosse team in contention for an eighth consecutive state title.

(Note: Garden City hosts Calhoun on Thursday in the Nassau Class B quarterfinals.)

When and how did you become a goalie? “I started in eighth grade. In PAL, they always needed a goalie and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll go in.’ I volunteered for it, but I started falling in love with it as I got more serious about the sport.”

What positions did you play before? “I used to be a midfielder. In my freshman year they made me take the draws. I was a forward in soccer and they switched me to goalie there, too.”

You’ve had success in basketball and soccer as well. Which sport’s your favorite? “I like basketball the most, but I’m gonna play lacrosse in college and I’m starting to like it more and more. But basketball has definitely been my favorite.”

Your college decision: “I’m going to George Mason for lacrosse. I was also looking at Jacksonville too, but didn’t want to be too far from home. Plus I’ll be pretty close to Georgetown. So if I ever want to go visit Meg [McDonald] or Eddie [Blatz], I’ll only be about 20 minutes away.”

What’s it like playing goalie for this team, knowing there’s such a standard to uphold? “It’s amazing, but it’s kind of big shoes to fill. I’m following goalies that went to Harvard (Weis), Yale (Erin Mullins) and Georgetown (McDonald). They’re all so smart and amazing at lacrosse. The fact that we’ve won seven state championships in a row and I have to be the next one is kind of scary."

How much pressure does that create? “There’s pressure. You don’t want to be the one to mess it up. But I feel like pressure can be a positive. It puts me in a better situation. It puts you on edge and makes you care about every game.”

Your first year starting has been… “Amazing. The fact that we were undefeated until Wednesday [a non-league loss to St. Anthony’s] was awesome. I think it’s pretty cool to be the goalie of a team that was undefeated through the conference season, especially being in that new super conference with nothing but tough teams.”

Memories of the first game you started this year (March 22 against Hewlett): “I was going crazy just when we started the scrimmages. I was in still basketball [playoffs], so I missed the first week or so of practices, and I was nervous going in. But once the first game started I was like, ‘OK. This is it. It’s my time.’ We had almost our whole starting defense back, so that’s comforting. It got better and easier as we went.”

What’s your best attribute as a goalie? “This year I’ve been getting better against bounce shots. Manhasset shot a lot of bouncers against me. Now when I see them in free positions, I’m OK. Low is getting better for me."

Playing for Liberty Lacrosse, where your travel coach is also the coach of your biggest high school rival (Manhasset):  “It’s kind of awkward because of our rivalry with Manhasset. I’m also on Schoolgirls and she’s my coach there, too. It was fun when we beat [Manhasset] in overtime this season because she got to see me in action against her team.”

Who’s your best friend on your team? “Katherine Malhame. Someone older would be Lily Schmitt. She’s like a big sister to me. Whenever I’m upset, she can cheer me up.”

Funniest teammate: “Kayla Murphy. She has a great sense of humor and always has us laughing. Even if we lose, she’ll be on the bus trying to cheer us up. She’ll be like, ‘I know we’re upset, but…’ After we lost to St. Anthony’s, me, her and Lily went to Applebee’s and we were there laughing for hours.”

How close are you with Kelly and Megan? “At first I was scared of Meg. I don’t know why. But we started getting closer. And Kelly, I didn’t get to play with, but she was back home from college last year as we were getting ready for playoffs and she came by some practices. The three of us started getting closer. I’ll see Kelly watching and look over and she’ll be like, ‘Stop looking at me. Yell at your defense like I used to!’ I think we have that in common. I can get loud.”

Favorite movies: “’The Notebook’ and ‘Just Go With It.’ And I saw ‘The Great Gatsby’ the other day, and that was really good.”

What song gets you fired up before games? “’I Love It’” by Icona Pop. All my friends all ask if that can really get me pumped, but it does. I blast that song in the car and my dad gets so annoyed.”

Favorite musician: “Probably Taylor Swift. And Zac Brown Band. Country music gets me going.”

Song that you like but are embarrassed to admit you do? “’Mirrors’” by Justin Timberlake. I like that song a lot, but I’m not really a fan of Justin Timberlake.”

Favorite TV show: “I haven’t watched much TV in a while – I’m more of a movie person – but I love ‘The Nanny.’ My friends bought me the DVDs for my birthday and I got so excited.”

Can you do the Fran Drescher laugh? “No. I won’t even attempt it anymore. I used to try, but my friends would be like, ‘Just stop.’”

If you were in goal against the boys team and took 20 shots, how many would you save? “Hopefully like three. Their shots are great and it’s totally different. I’ve told Danny [Dolan], ‘I don’t know how you save half of those shots.’ Their bounce shots, I can probably get some of those because they bounce right up. But when they rip them, that’s tough.”

More fun to block a shot in lacrosse or basketball? “Lacrosse. Because it’s the main job of my position. In basketball it’s just like, ‘Oh, that just happened, now go on with the game.’”

Favorite memory from this year so far: “Definitely beating Manhasset. Obviously they’re a great team, so I felt like if we had lost, there wouldn’t have been any shame in that. But to beat them in overtime was fun.” (Carpentier made 14 saves in the Trojans’ 10-9 win.)

Three dinner guests – dead or alive, real or fictional – who would they be? “Hope Solo, Michael Jordan and Taylor Swift.”

If you could control the world and do whatever you want for a day: “Unlimited food. I love food, so that’s a must. Especially Garden City Bistro. I’d have music blasting everywhere and it would have to be nice out; good weather. Slip ‘N Slides everywhere and nobody can use their car.”

Would old people get upset about the loud music and water? “They’d have to get with it. Everyone would be involved, even on the Slip ‘N Slides. Even if they’re in wheelchairs, we’d roll them down the Slip N’ Slide. It would just be a crazy party for one day, then everything goes back to normal the next day.”

Tags: girls lacrosse , Nassau , Taylor Carpentier , player profile , Garden City , Slip 'N Slide , The Nanny

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