Siegele's perseverance pays off
The saying goes “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” However, not many people find the confidence to “try again” after they have been turned down a first time.
Taryn Siegele is not one of those people.
On the night when the Arizona women’s soccer team defeated Boise State 2-0, the junior forward scored the first goal of her collegiate career.
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Siegele was initially fouled approximately 40 yards out. Center back Hallie Pearson came up to take the free kick. Pearson played a great ball around the penalty spot, and Siegele was able to find the back of the net off a snap header in the 80th minute.
“It was really exciting. There’s no words that can describe it,” Siegele said.
What she can describe, however, is her unique journey of how she got to celebrate this moment in the first place.
The 5-foot-9 forward from Katy, Texas played at Cinco Ranch High School. During her time as a high school player, she was named to the honorary All-State First Team and was also named All-District MVP.
While in high school, Siegele did not play on a club team, the arena where players often make valuable connections for college recruitment. Without such connections, getting recruited was difficult for her.
Siegele decided her freshman year in college that she wanted to continue to play the sport she fell in love with. After making that decision, she contacted Arizona women’s soccer head coach Tony Amato and assistant coach Paul Nagy.
Unfortunately, they told her that she had missed their team’s summer tryout, but encouraged her to come back and try out in the spring of 2016.
That spring of her freshman year in college, Siegele tried out, but did not make the team.
“It was hard to hear, but I knew I wanted to be on the team and I really wanted to play soccer. And I knew I could do it,” Siegele said.
Siegele didn’t shed a single tear that day. She wasn’t satisfied with the response she got and said she knew that it wouldn’t be the last time she stepped on Murphey Field in Mulcahy Stadium. After being cut, Siegle continued to reach out to the coaches with emails and phone calls until they finally agreed to give her a second chance and told her to come back for a reevaluation the following spring.
“[Tony Amato] said that I was very athletic, and that was good. He knew that I was a hard worker and I was good with fitness and stuff. It was more of the soccer part that I needed to work on,” Siegel recalled about her conversations with the coaches.
In the fall leading up to the tryout, Siegele joined the UA women’s club soccer program to work on the “soccer part” by honing her skills.
This time at the spring tryout, Siegele was given 14 days to earn a spot on the Arizona roster. Not only did she practice with the team, but she also attended their strength and conditioning sessions.
“I came out in the spring and it was really hard those first two weeks. They were rough. I just kept trying and trying and working hard,” Siegele said.
Her teammates were also one of the reasons she pushed herself to take advantage of the extra opportunity. From the beginning, she said they gave her a sense of belonging.
“In this whole process they have been super supportive and from day one they were so sweet and so welcoming and has made it so much easier,” Siegele said.
Redshirt sophomore Jill Aguilera has been impressed with Siegele’s strong work ethic.
“She never gives up on the ball, she’ll always keep pressing and she’s really fast, so people kind of underestimate her coming in as a sub,” Aguilera said.
Her hard work has not gone unnoticed by the soccer world. After scoring her first career goal against Boise State, the Pac-12 Network Twitter account posted a video of the goal.
After the game that night, Amato had more than a few words to say about his player.
“She did a really nice job and it’s a cool story and she’s gotten better and better and she’s worked hard and she played really well in the minutes she went out there tonight and scored a good goal and it was on the network and everything, so I think you couldn’t be happier for her,” Amato said.
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