As Temple Lacrosse goalkeeper Taylor Grollman jogged off the field in the second quarter having allowed six goals to Princeton on Feb. 25, she had no idea what to expect for her playing time moving forward.
However, the sophomore has already proven that she has what it takes to help lead Temple Lacrosse to regular season wins, all it took was a little kick in the back from head coach Bonnie Rosen.
“Goalkeeping is so hard in our sport,” Rosen said after Temple’s 17-9 loss to Princeton. “It seemed early on that maybe Taylor needed to get out of the cage for a second.”
As the new starting goalie, Grollman has needed to handle a lot of adversity in the 2023 season including the pressure that comes with being a new starter while also playing on a nationally-ranked team.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I have always put a lot of pressure on myself,” Grollman said. “As we get into more intense games, I can only imagine how much pressure I’ll be putting on myself.”
However, Grollman’s background as an athlete who was raised in a disciplined environment laid the groundwork for her motivated work ethic today.
Growing up in Severn, Maryland, Grollman was in the backyard of premier lacrosse country, right by the prestigious United States Naval Academy and had two parents who served in the military.
Being around this military environment, she decided to follow in her family’s footsteps and join the ROTC.
Grollman grew up having a strict routine implemented by her parents, and whether it was schoolwork or athletics, she had to remain on top of her priorities. She worked very hard at her crafts, and lacrosse was the sport she fell in love with. Her family’s support and drive allowed her to overcome various pressures on and off the field.
“I grew up hearing their experience and it sounded like it would give me such an incredible life and career path that I think I would love,” Grollman said. “I actually want to go into the Army to fly helicopters, that’s what the goal is.”
When Grollman was being recruited, she wanted to attend a school that offered both lacrosse and ROTC, and at Temple she saw a strong ROTC program and a lacrosse team that was on the rise.
When she began her recruiting, Grollman caught Rosen’s eye very quickly. Playing at local Annapolis Area Christian School, she had everything Rosen was looking for — a quality player and person.
“I recruited Taylor to become a starter, when I watched her play in high school I really enjoyed her style of play,” Rosen said. “She is someone that I imagined being a key person for us from the time she was younger.”
While at AACS, Grollman racked up awards from her play on the lacrosse field. She was twice named to the Brick Wall club, a club recognizing outstanding goalie play, and all-conference in Anne Arundel County.
Grollman knew from a young age that the goal was where she belonged, and it showed too.
“She was always a great goalie, even in sixth grade she was stopping shots most kids that age don’t stop,” said Cairn University women’s lacrosse coach Deanna Thorpe, who coached Grollman from sixth grade through high school.
Temple Lacrosse is coming off a successful 11-6 record during the 2022 season, with high expectations for the 2023 season. After advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2020, they failed to qualify in 2021 and 2022.
As a freshman, Grollman appeared in six games and laid the framework for her starting role in 2023. She stopped 15 shots and allowed just nine goals, good for a .625 save percentage.
Temple is 5-3 on the season so far and Grollman is averaging 5.6 saves per game. While she has certainly not performed her best this year after getting pulled against Princeton, she will need to work harder to overcome this period of adversity.
Rosen, however, just wants to see Grollman’s skills develop.
“I am just excited to watch her really grow through this season,” Rosen said. “She’s going to have games where she will make a ton of saves and games where she just needs to make the basic saves and that will be good enough for us.”