Cedar Creek High School senior Taylor Emmell is very familiar with getting things started from the ground up. She was involved with the Cedar Creek girls lacrosse program right from the beginning four years ago.
That's one reason Monmouth University looks like a good fit for Emmell, who committed to the Division I program on a lacrosse scholarship in November. The Hawks will get a fresh start this spring under new head coach Jordan Trautman, a former Georgetown all-American who served as head coach at Kean University for the past five seasons.
"I verbally committed (to Monmouth) my sophomore year," Emmell said. "Originally I was recruited by a whole different coaching staff, so I've had a long time to think about it. After the head coach left, they hired a whole new coaching staff and theyre a lot more qualified. It's a really big thing for the program."
Emmell also looked at High Point, Louisville and George Mason but settled on Monmouth after visiting the Long Branch school two years ago. "I originally did not want to go to school in New Jersey," she said. "As soon as I visited, I knew that Monmouth was the place for me."
Emmell, a Mays Landing resident, has been a true leader, both on the field and off, for the program at Cedar Creek, right from the beginning. She scored nine goals as a freshman in the first varsity win in program history back in March of 2015, and led the team to its first win over intra-district rival Absegami last spring, scoring four goals in a five-minute span of the second half. She scored her 100th career goal last May, becoming the first player in the program’s four-year history to reach the milestone.
"They've come a long, long way," said Emmell, who began playing lacrosse as a second grader in a Hamilton Township youth program. "My freshman year, most of the players had no lacrosse experience at all, because there's nothing around here in the (Greater Egg Harbor) district. A lot of the girls really enjoy it now. I'd like to see them get better and better."