Courtesy of Eric Smith, Sports Information Director, Taylor University, 765-998-4569, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.taylor.edu/athletics/
UPLAND, Ind. – After scoring career goals No. 50 and 51 Tuesday night, including the game-winner in a 4-2 win at Spring Arbor, Taylor University senior Tyler Beachler was the first player on the bus ride home from Michigan to receive word that he and his teammates had just been on national television.
One of the few players still awake on the bus at 1 a.m., Beachler received a text message from a friend telling him that he just saw Beachler and the Taylor men’s soccer team on ESPN as the #2 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
Beachler’s teammates started to wake up after he received the initial text only to find that their phones had also been peppered with text messages from family and friends to tell them about their ESPN debut.
By 1:50 a.m., the team had arrived back at Taylor in time to watch the next replay of Sports Center on the locker room TV and to hear the commentary describing the video from ESPN anchor Stan Verrett.
“I was checking Twitter earlier and you know the folks at Taylor University are really happy about this,” Verrett said on the show. “21st minute Tyler Beachler on a bicycle kick and then in the 64th minute Danny Cawley also scores on a bicycle kick. Top plays come from everywhere. They beat Mount Vernon Nazarene 4-0.”
Shot by team manager Chris Nixon on Saturday, the video went untouched until assistant sports information director Cameron Andry edited the film Tuesday afternoon. Taylor Sports Information Director Eric Smith submitted the video to several media outlets, including ESPN, just seven hours before it aired on SportsCenter.
The appearance on ESPN is one of many landmarks for the Trojans and head coach Gary Ross this season. With its best start in school history at 12-1, Taylor has more wins than any team in the NAIA this season.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, the Trojans were ranked No. 21 in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, which is believed to be their highest ranking in school history.
The ESPN appearance is the second for the Taylor Athletic Department in the last 10 months. Last winter, Taylor gained notoriety for its men’s basketball Silent Night tradition with a video that received more than one million views across several national media outlets, including ESPN, CNN, and Yahoo!