Sports, Waterford High School

Girls soccer: Leaders on and off the pitch

Waterford’s Taylor Gordon (left) and Megan Cornell plan on enrolling at the University of Wisconsin, where they will continue their partnership, playing for the Division 1 women’s soccer team (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Waterford duo headed to Madison

By Jason Arndt

Waterford Union High School seniors Megan Cornell and Taylor Gordon began playing soccer more than a decade ago.

The senior duo also teamed up on the Wolverines soccer, where they have played a key role in transforming the program, said fifth-year head coach Joe Vogt.

The Wolverines went 10 years without winning a Southern Lakes Conference title, but after both arrived on the pitch, Waterford captured two league championships in the three years they played together.

As of May 31, Gordon has accounted for 37 goals while Cornell has logged 25 for the 14-3-1 Wolverines, according to

“Both of them are super competitive kids, like they are competitive in practices, they are competitive in games,” Vogt said. “I think that plays a big part of their success. Obviously, they are great soccer players, they can serve with both feet, they can handle the ball really well.”

Gordon and Cornell, meanwhile, do not have any plans to separate after they receive their diplomas from Waterford.

Waterford’s dynamic duo will continue playing together for the University of Wisconsin as members of the Badger women’s soccer team.

Gordon, who committed first, said she looks forward to working with Cornell in Madison.

“We just have a really good connection on and off the field. It is nice to know we can transition over to Madison and keep going with it,” said Gordon, who earned Southern Lakes Conference Player of the Year honors as a sophomore.

“I was drawn to Wisconsin soccer because the culture of the team was really good, like a family, and the coaches were just as nice and welcoming, too.”

Gordon, an Academic Top 10 at Waterford, also found the engineering program at Madison challenging.

For Cornell, a multi-sport athlete, she said competing at Madison accomplishes a dream of playing for a Division 1 school.

Additionally, she took family under consideration, and playing with Gordon served as an added bonus.

“I just like the idea of staying close to home, so my family can come and support me,” Cornell said. “It is awesome, I am so excited that we can keep working together because we work so well together.”

Cornell, who attended Waterford Graded School District and plans to study kinesiology at Madison, said Gordon’s biggest quality on the field is her speed and technical skill on the ball.

Gordon, meanwhile, said she enjoys Cornell’s ability to hit free kicks with precision. She attended Washington-Caldwell.

Strong leaders
Vogt, meanwhile, said Cornell and Gordon have been strong leaders on and off of the field for the Waterford soccer program.

“They are really good at working with the younger players,” Vogt said. “If you listen to them on the field, they are talking to the younger players, and telling them where they should be and encouraging them to make good plays.”

While both present strong leadership skills, both bring differing qualities, Vogt said.

Gordon, who played varsity basketball, decided to focus solely on soccer her senior season.

Cornell, meanwhile, has demonstrated natural athletic ability across multiple sports.

“The cool thing about Taylor is she is so soccer driven, she is a great student, she rides horses, which I don’t think people know. She is a very well-rounded kid. She is one of the most hard-working kids I have ever had in class,” said Vogt.

“(Megan) is just a competitor. I see her play basketball, and you watch her play in basketball in a lot of the same ways she plays soccer. She is always willing to play wherever I put her and play different positions. She is just a versatile athlete. She is such a great athlete. I feel like in the fall, she can pick up a tennis racket, and she could be a varsity tennis player. She is such a natural athlete.”

Vogt, who said both will be missed from the program, expressed excitement about seeing each of them wear Badger red on the soccer pitch in Madison.

“I am really proud of their leadership and I am really looking forward to next year and being able to catch some Badger games,” Vogt said.

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