DURHAM, N.C. - Now in her third season with the Duke women’s lacrosse program, junior midfielder Taylor Trimble continues to be one of the team’s top point producers and a force at the draw. The captain of the U.S. U-19 team that captured the 2011 FIL World Championship title, she donned the red, white and blue once again this fall as a member of the U.S. national team roster. She spoke with GoDuke the Magazine during a recent road trip.
GoDuke the Magazine: This fall you were selected to the U.S. national women’s lacrosse team roster for a number of events. What was that experience like?
Trimble: It was an incredible experience. I hadn’t been with the U.S. since U-19s. Obviously once you’ve represented the U.S. you never forget that. But just being able to represent the U.S. and being on the team this past year, especially while I was on the Duke team, it means so much to have “USA” across your chest. Just being able to play with all these players I’ve looked up to and past players in Duke’s program, it sounds cliché, but it really was a dream. The group of girls was so much fun. I had the best time and I’m really appreciative of (Team USA head coach) Ricky Fried giving me the opportunity.”
GoDuke the Magazine: Speaking of former Duke players, what was it like to be on the field with former Blue Devil and current U.S. midfielder Sarah Bullard?
Trimble: I’ve known Sarah, but to actually play with her is so cool because I missed her by a year. I never played with her at Duke. She’s so easy to play with, so fun to play with. We both went to Duke — I can’t really explain it but it’s fun to play with someone who went through what you’re experiencing now at Duke.
GoDuke the Magazine: What are some things you learned from playing with the best in the game?
Trimble: I learned that I can go at a completely different pace. Playing with players that are so advanced — when you’re surrounded by them on all sides, I’ve realized you can take your game to the next level. I had so much fun playing with them because you really don’t have time to think. You just have to react and play. The college game is really fast, but on the U.S. team where you have the best players in college all playing together, it was so much fun. It’s what you picture of perfect lacrosse. All of those girls are super talented and people that have made a huge impact on top programs.
GoDuke the Magazine: Have you carried any of those lessons learned with you into the spring season at Duke?
Trimble: Definitely just taking risks. So many of those girls go so hard and just play and don’t think. That’s something that I need to work on. And I realize from playing with those top players at a different pace that you just have to go with your instinct and not forget who you are as a player and that all of us can hang with the best players. Being on the field with them, you realize what you’re capable of doing. I think I definitely tried to take that to Duke and try to play with that same speed and instinctive play.
GoDuke the Magazine: As one of the upperclassmen on the Duke team this year, how have you developed your play and leadership to help younger players?
Trimble: It is bizarre that I’m already a junior. It’s been kind of weird because as a sophomore, you’re getting more comfortable and then as a junior, you’re automatically someone who’s looked up to. I remember as a freshman and sophomore kind of leaning on those older players and now I am that older player. I think sometimes I need to remind myself of that and not get lost in the game. Now I need to have more of a presence for my teammates because as an upperclassman that is your role to the younger players and it does make a difference.
GoDuke the Magazine: In high school you played lacrosse, soccer and squash. Can you talk about that combination of sports and how you got into them?
Trimble: I played soccer my whole life and absolutely loved it. I was really bad at basketball, and I wanted to play another sport so I just picked up squash. It was cool because it’s kind of an individual sport and the team dynamic is different. I just liked having a change between soccer and lacrosse. It’s a really good workout and it’s good for your hand-eye coordination and footwork. It just gave me something new to learn. I just loved how it was different and so much fun to play. It’s something I can play my whole life.
GoDuke the Magazine: You come from a pretty athletic family. How have your parents’ collegiate careers influenced you as a student-athlete?
Trimble: My dad played basketball at William & Mary and my mom played field hockey and lacrosse there. My brother also plays baseball at Delaware. My mom knows the game of lacrosse. It’s so fun to be able to compare their athletic experiences with mine and they obviously understand things that I’m going through — everything from injury to the schedule, they can relate to that too. Basketball and lacrosse are pretty applicable to what I’m doing so they do teach me a lot and I definitely look up to them. It’s really cool to be able to share that.
Trimble and the ninth-ranked Blue Devils face top seed Maryland in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship Saturday, May 17 at noon in College Park, Md.