Courtney Taylor Quietly Making an Impact in Athletes Unlimited


Courtney Taylor, a rookie, is No. 11 on the leaderboard with two games remaining.

Courtney Taylor didn’t think she’d play for a national championship and then suit up in a professional lacrosse league in a three-month span when she picked up a stick in sixth grade — fairly late in the game. She didn’t even think she’d do it last year when her senior season at Temple ended in a 21-11 loss to Boston College.

“I went to Temple and thought, ‘I want to win a conference championship.’ It was never anything bigger,” Taylor said.

Taylor has gone big in 2022. Boston College head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein was taking notes during the Eagles’ 2021 win over Temple. When Walker entered the portal, Walker-Weinstein lured her to BC, where Taylor led the national runner-up with 28 caused turnovers and finished third in draw controls with 90. She was picked seventh in the Athletes Unlimited college draft and is 11th on the leaderboard with two games left in the summer season.

Taylor may sound like an overnight success, but she’s anything but. Throughout her career, Taylor has stayed late after practice. Though she had solid footwork from her first love, soccer, stick skills didn’t come naturally. She took that competitive nature and drive to improve to Boston College, where she fit right in. In Chestnut Hill, practice fuels progress.

“When I first showed up at BC, I was like, ‘Wow, these practices are so different,’” Taylor recalled. “Everyone wanted to be the best. We competed so hard against each other in practice that when it came to games, it was almost easy. Those competitive practices and a competitive conference definitely helped me prepare for AU.”

It also prepared Taylor for last week’s matchup with Charlotte North. Taylor frequently drew the two-time Tewaaraton Award winner in practices at BC, where the two developed a friendly rivalry on the field and became fast friends off it. This week, the two are reunited on Team Glynn.

“It’s so fun playing against her just because she is such an athlete,” Taylor said. “She just wants to have fun, and I love the challenge of playing against her … this week, we’re finally on the same team, and we’re both so happy we don’t have to play against each other.”

When Taylor wasn’t going toe-to-toe with North in practices, she often drew Eagles assistant Sam Apuzzo. In Week 1, Apuzzo drew up a strategy that included Taylor on defense. She drafted her former player, and the two went 3-0 together.

“It’s the best when you are on [Sam’s] team,” Taylor said. “She is a great leader. She knows exactly what to do. Every time she’s down in one of these games, she finds a way to pick up her team and win.”

Former BC players own a league-high four spots in the top 13 In Apuzzo (2), Dempsey Arsenault (7), Taylor (11) and North (13). Kenzie Kent is also in the league and currently sits at No. 39.  

Though Taylor didn’t play with or for Arsenault and Kent in college, she’s enjoyed getting to know them in the pros. She was on Team Arsenault in Week 2. After spending time with them and her experience at BC, she’s not surprised several former Eagles are making names for themselves in AU.

“The coaches push you to do your best every day, but they don’t have to tell you to work harder. The culture there is why everyone there is so competitive, good and prepared for the league,” Taylor said.

Outside of the BC-to-AU pipeline, Taylor says she was thrilled to get an opportunity to learn from fellow defenders Becca Block and Meg Douty.

“No matter what happens on the field, they stay composed and positive,” Taylor said. “A bad goal isn’t going to get in their head. Even when we got scored on, they were like, ‘That’s alright. Next one.’ It was so cool to see them so calm and OK with things happening because you can make up for it in the next play.”

Soon, Taylor may be one of the players inspiring a first-time pro. She’s part of a loaded rookie class that included the likes of Team USA stars North, Emma Trenchard and Ally Mastroianni, plus Tewaaraton finalists Jamie Ortega and Aurora Cordingley. Taylor is actually the league’s third-ranked rookie behind Mastroianni (10) and Taylor Moreno (2). But somehow, she’s flown under the radar. She’s fine with that and hopes it shows young players that you don’t need to make headlines to make an impact.

“I’m used to being the underdog,” Taylor said. “I was never anything big in high school. It shows you can go from being nothing to having a huge part on a big lacrosse team, whether it’s pro, BC or any of these top-five schools. Every little piece of a team matters, from the last bench player to the top attacker. You need every one of those players to win and be good.”

And the pros have needed Taylor in 2022. Heading into the season finale, Taylor hopes to finish in the top 10, and she’s open to coming back for Season 3.

“I would love to do it again,” Taylor said. “I’m grateful to have gotten to do it this year. Looking back on the last few weeks, it was so much fun to get to know people and get better every day.”


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