Truman’s Taryn Nash knows a little about defense, being one of the Patriots’ top defenders throughout her career.

Truman’s Taryn Nash knows a little about defense, being one of the Patriots’ top defenders throughout her career.
However, Tuesday night she found herself in unfamiliar territory – being the last line of defense.
Nash played her first game in goal since she was on an under-8 team and stopped a school-record 22 shots in a 5-0 Class 3 sectional loss to Liberty at Staley High School.
“Last week at school, our softball coach (Steve Broughton) said it was a big game and said, ‘Are you playing goalie?’” Nash said. “I said, ‘Goalie?’ And he said, ‘Never mind.’ I started texting (Coach Bryan) Schmitt immediately asking if I was playing goalie, and he said, ‘Yep.’”
In her first start in goal in nearly 11 years, Nash – who is the fourth goalie Truman has used this year and third since starter Easton Harper was injured – did all she could to keep Truman in the game against an explosive Liberty offense that controlled play the entire game. She was also trying to punt the ball with her weaker left leg because of a quad injury she’s struggled with all year.
“It was stressful,” Nash said. “I understand about being a keeper and what they go through. I don’t know how to play goalie. I did a lot of guessing. I got lucky. I fumbled a lot of balls. My defense picked up a lot of the scrap.”
However, Nash couldn’t keep Liberty off the board, as play was primarily focused in the Truman end of the field.
To try to counter the powerful Liberty attack, Schmitt moved the lineup, putting leading scorer Sarah Franklin on defense next to Courtney Eisman. With Nash in goal, three of Truman’s top four scorers were in defensive positions Tuesday.
“They were so fast, but we knew they were coming in,” Franklin said. “We watched them play in last year’s sectional. They have very fast forwards. They beat us on the outside a couple of times.”
The defensive scheme worked for the first 34 minutes, as Nash had stopped eight shots and the score was 1-0.
However, in the 35th minute, Shea Groom struck twice – one that went off Nash’s hands and another that was a rocket shot – and the Blue Jays had essentially put away a game in which Truman could not get a shot on goal.
“Liberty scores in bunches,” Schmitt said. “It’s not just on us – it’s every team they play. We tried to keep the score down, because we knew we couldn’t run with them for 80 minutes. We wanted to try to run with them for 15 minutes or so at the end. But by the time we got to the last 15 minutes, the game was over.”
Franklin said she thought the team played well, especially going in as a decided underdog against a team with several players on the under-16 national team.
“We had nothing to lose,” she said. “We thought we were going to go 1-0 at halftime, but they got the two at the end. I thought we played pretty well together.”
The loss ends a 17-7 season which saw the Patriots win their third straight district crown. However, of the three seasons, Schmitt said this year’s was most impressive because of all the team went through with injuries and missing players at the start of the year.
“Considering what we had to deal with – all the injuries and everything – I’m very happy,” he said.


Liberty        Truman
27    Shots on goal    0
0    Saves    22
5    Corner kicks    0
7    Fouls    5
0    Yellow cards    0
LIBERTY      3    2    —    5
TRUMAN     0    0    —    0
Keepers: Stephanie Gartner, Hannah Hurla, Bailey Barnett, Liberty; Taryn Nash, Truman.
First half
L — Shea Groom (unassisted), 11:00.
L — Groom (unassisted), 35:00.
L — Groom (unassisted), 35:00.
Second half
L — Brooke Williams (Kelsey Goff assist), 47:00.
L — Goff (unassisted), 52:00.