St. Francis’ Taylor VanThournout had quite the introduction to the Spartans’ girls soccer program, playing on varsity last year as a freshman and helping the Spartans win the IHSA Class 2A state championship. The St. Charles resident is charting her own athletic course after her older sister, Meghan VanThournout, was a standout golfer for the Spartans. In this week’s Weekend Chit-chat with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab, VanThournout touches on her new role this spring, upcoming facility upgrade plans at St. Francis and the Spartans’ strong start to the 2013 season. The following is an edited transcript:
What was the experience like winning a state championship as a freshman?
It was kind of unreal, basically. I would have never expected going in we were going to win it and everything. Just the fact that we got together and were able to pull through, it was so unreal. It was awesome.
How has your role changed from last year to this year?
Last year I played forward and defense, depending on what we needed, and this year I changed to midfield. It’s just a different position, and I’m more comfortable with the team and everything.
What are your early impressions of this group?
I think we’ll be good. We’re going to have a lot of new players, which is good, and we have some good players returning. … We’ve won all the games we’ve played so far, so I think it looks positive for us.
Are you getting to enjoy your spring break at all?
Yeah, it’s nice. We had a tournament [that was shortened earlier this week] but then I went to Florida.
Are you excited about the new turf plans yet or is it too far out?
No, I’m really excited. Our field is horrible, so for all sports, too, not just soccer, I’m definitely excited to get a turf field so that when we kick, rocks don’t fly in our face.
Have you golfed much over the years?
For a little while when I was younger but I quit like in sixth grade.
What kind of defender gives you the most trouble? Is there a certain style?
Probably physical more because it’s easy to get bumped off the ball, I guess, but I try to stand my ground, I think. It depends on the player but for me it’s definitely physicality.