In addition to covering girls soccer, I am also responsible for keeping track of locals playing sports in college. Every Sunday I compile a notebook that has highlights about players from around the Hudson Valley. This week my notebook focused on Rye graduate Tatiana Saunders.
Saunders compiled several accolades while at Rye (she was named the 2010 Gatorade New York player of the year and started for England’s U-17 and U-19 team) before heading up to New Hampshire.
For more updates on locals, follow my twitter feed @LohudCollege.
Rye’s Tatiana Saunders, the starting goalie for Dartmouth’s women’s soccer team, was quick to pass the buck regarding receiving the Ivy League co-player of the week award on Monday.
“I was so pleased, but I was also tremendously proud of my defense,” said Saunders, who allowed no goals in 200 minutes of play last week. “Even though I got recognized, we’re kind of one unit back there. The whole defense also got recognized for it.”
It might seem like a manufactured, company line, but Saunders is genuine. The junior always credits others for the accomplishments she has achieved.
Earning first-team All-Ivy as a sophomore last season?
Saunders says that was all thanks to Big Green goalkeeper coach Brittany Cameron, a former professional women’s soccer player that joined the Dartmouth coaching staff in 2012.
“(Cameron) knows so much about the sport of soccer, but especially goalkeeping,” Saunders said. “She’s constantly critiquing me, and to be honest, it’s awesome because every day I’m learningsomething else. Even if it’s something small, it makes the biggest difference.”
Posting a 13-4 record, including going 6-1 in the Ivy, in 2012?
That was due to a strong senior class looking to make a change, according to Saunders.
“I think the whole team had a completely different mentality,” said Saunders of her sophomore season, the Big Green’s best record since 2006. “Our seniors were like, ‘This is our last season. We’re going to basically turn around this program.’ ”
Saunders fails to mention her .72 goals-against average, .833 save percentage, league-best 60 saves and seven shutouts she posted during that 2012 campaign.
For Saunders, what stands out most from last season was the devastating feeling of finishing second in the Ivy and falling just short of an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.
“This year our main goal, and basically only goal, is to win the Ivy,” Saunders said. “Everyone is going to take care of their individual business in order to achieve that goal.”