Soccer Jordan Taylor gets Jeannette boys soccer to think big

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Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 5:20 PM


Vanity is not among Jordan Taylor’s chief concerns when he tries to put another goal in the net for the Jeannette soccer team.

If he can score in a squiggly line instead of flowing cursive, so be it.

If force takes a backseat to finesse, then more power to him.

“I try to do anything to score a goal, any way I can,” the Jeannette sophomore forward said. “I mean, I have scored some exciting goals before, but not all of them are that way. Most of them are not.”

Jeannette has itself a player in Taylor, who netted 26 goals as a freshman and had six scores — and three assists — in a 12-1, season-opening win over South Allegheny last weekend.

While it was easier to hide him last year as he slowly became more of threat, the Jayhawks know teams will be looking to shut him down this fall.

Taylor has a knack for finding the back of the net, and coach Art Cicero knew that when he first saw Taylor play.

“I mean, he has the speed and the skill, but with Jordan, he always seems to know where to be,” Cicero said. “He wants to be in the big moment. He has great timing.”

Soccer is a big part of Taylor’s life. His mom, Savannah Rennels, was a standout at Latrobe before playing collegiately at Bucknell and American. She was an all-conference and all-region performer known for her goal-scoring prowess.

Born in Jeannette, Taylor played youth soccer briefly in the city before quickly advancing to the cup level. He has played for teams in the Century and BVB clubs (2005 team).

“He’s so deceptive,” Jeannette assistant coach Bobby Tanyer said. “Someone goes to defend him, and they think they’re going to get this shimmy move or something. But he just finds a way to get around you and score. It’s like he’s in slow motion.”

Clearly the centerpiece of the Jayhawks’ attack, Taylor appears to have a supporting cast in the works this season.

Sophomore Austin Emery is another cup-level player who can provide offense, and juniors Deyton Conrad and Mitchell Steele, the goalkeeper, are other key players.

“We have some freshmen who are going to help us,” Jordan Taylor said. “We struggled a little bit last year, but I think we’re going to be so much better.”

Freshman Jorel Taylor, Jordan’s brother, also plays cup and is showing he can add another layer to the Jayhawks’ formation.

“He plays sweeper, so he’s more defense,” Jordan Taylor said. “He has my speed.”

Junior Shane Mickens also has a nose for the net. And don’t forget about freshman Jeremiah Davis, who had a hat trick in the season opener.

“He never played soccer before,” Cicero said.

An example of Jeannette’s more balanced attack was a 5-0 win over Ligonier Valley last Wednesday. In the win, Emery had two goals, and sophomore Jared Vincent had two assists. Braced by multiple defenders, Jordan Taylor didn’t score, but several teammates did.

If Jordan Taylor can play a decoy role on occasion and get help from teammates, Jeannette could make school history by qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time.

“Making the playoffs is a big goal for us,” Taylor said. “That would be really exciting. And, honestly, if we got there and got blown out in the first round, that would be all right. Just getting there would be huge.”

And it wouldn’t have to be pretty.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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