It’s not often you hear of a twenty-one year old coming out of retirement, but as AFC Ann Arbor Women’s newest signing Taylor Babcock jokes, “Considering I’m coming out of retirement, I’m just ecstatic to get to play and be apart of a team again. I love being around the game and am excited to be able to compete on the field.”
She may be comical off the pitch, but the defender from Northville (born in Spokane) means business when it comes time to compete. In high school, she was named Team MVP three times, earned all-state third team as a junior before being named all-state second team her senior season. After high school, she pushed on to play at the University of Portland before returning home to Michigan where Babcock began her coaching career. Now, a youth coach for the Michigan Tigers (alongside AFC Ann Arbor teammate Megan Trapp), she “started coaching and fell in love with the alternative perspective of the game it provided me with.”
For Babcock, the game has given her so much, that she wants to share and help shape the next generation of players, specifically young girls. “Growing up, my club team would scrimmage all the boys teams and every time we were on cloud nine. Soccer didn’t really seem to have double standards, it was simple—if I was all in, good things would happen. The game instilled the ideal of meritocracy in me from a very early age—work hard above all else. It’s been an outlook I’ve carried throughout my life and forever am grateful to the game for,” said Babcock.
“I currently coach a group of 7 & 8 year old ladies and I think they might be the most excited that I’m playing this summer. But 10 years from now when they’re playing for AFC I want them to love the game. As a female, soccer has empowered me in ways that have affected my entire life. Teammates are forever and us, soccer girls, are a breed of our own! So I’m honored for an opportunity to show my girls that how we play on the field can be just as fierce as how we live our lives off it,” she added.
Quite honestly, you may never hear of another player as humble and appreciative as her. “The longer I’m around the game, the more I realize how it lasts forever. The community that soccer has given and continues to give me is world class. I’m just excited to expand it a little more.”
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be skippered by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned and operated by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community.