MARION – Where does one even begin when talking about a career like the one Taylor Goshert has had?
The Warsaw native is in her final season as a member of the Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcat basketball team and has made her mark in her time with the prominent NAIA program.
Wesleyan finished the regular season 24-6 before making it to the Crossroads League championship game on Monday night where it fell 75-63 to undefeated No. 1 St. Francis. With the conference tournament over and a trip to the NAIA Division II Tournament next week, Goshert is reaching the end of her illustrious career and has made sure to not take any of it for granted.
“I’ve really learned how to live in the moment,” said Goshert. “I learned a lot about the importance of hard work from playing at Wawasee for coach (Kem) Zolman. Coach (Steve) Brooks teaches the same thing here at Wesleyan and has been a big influence on my career.”
Goshert took on a big role this season as a captain for Wesleyan, a role that she felt prepared for thanks in part to her father, Rocky Goshert.
“As a leader you have to be the hardest worker,” said Goshert. “I learned that from my dad. You have to be able to lead by example.”
Goshert has definitely lived up to that challenge. She came into the season with 573 points, averaging 5.3 points per game for her career. In 2013-14 Goshert is her team’s leading scorer with 448 points, averaging 13.6 PPG. Last Friday night she eclipsed 1,000 career points in a game at Huntington University. Goshert also leads Wesleyan with seven rebounds per game.
Goshert is also a cornerstone for the tenacious defense that Wesleyan prides itself on. The Wildcats are first in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 52.8 points per game. Goshert’s work ethic and competitive drive make her the perfect player for Wesleyan’s defensive scheme and that has not gone unnoticed by her coach.
““You know Taylor is going to play hard,” Brooks said in a November interview. “She is a kid that will go down in history, in this program, as one of the most competitive players that we have ever had. You know what you’re going to get out her every game, you know she is going to play hard.
“She is a hard-nosed kid , she understands competition and I have total confidence in her in making sure that locker room is what it needs to be when I’m not in there.”
In her career at Wesleyan Goshert has accumulated 1,021 points, 642 rebounds, 136 steals and is an 80-percent free-throw shooter. She has been to the NAIA tournament every year in her time at IWU. After missing the 2011-12 season due to an injury, she returned is 2012-13 to help lead Wesleyan to its second national title in program history, fulfilling her childhood dream of being a national champion. This season she was the only Wildcat named to the First Team All-Crossroads League.
All of that added in with her successful prep career at Wawasee that included 1,417 career points, two regional titles and a State Finals appearance and it easy to see that Goshert has had an outstanding career on the court and it does not seem like she will be leaving the hardwood any time soon.
“There is still a lot for me to figure out before I graduate,” stated Goshert. “Right now, I want to get into coaching. I want to become a grad assistant next season and work towards my masters degree and continue my education and career with basketball.”
The hopeful future coach offered some advice for young gym rats.
“Study the game,” Goshert said. “When you can learn about the game and how it works than you become so much better of a player. You might not be the most athletic player on the court but if you can educate yourself on the game, then you will put yourself ahead in a lot of ways.”
A great student of the game herself, Goshert has her sites set on going out on top and bringing another title back to Marion.
Wesleyan will find out who and when they are playing in the NAIA Division II tournament on Wednesday afternoon. The 2014 NAIA Division II Women’s National Championships will be held in Sioux City, IA from March 12-17.