Freshman making seamless transition to college game

Freshman guard Tayler Sowell has averaged 5.7 points per game in three games this season.

Most freshmen in Division III athletes have a difficult time adjusting to life away from home. Balancing their course work and performing a high level for their specific craft. Oswego State women’s basketball point guard Tayler Sorell, however, has made the tough transition seamlessly, and it is showing on the court.

Sorell, the lone freshman on the Oswego State roster stands at 5 feet tall, but plays with no fear and has a quiet confidence about her that resonates with the rest of her teammates. Oswego State head coach Tracy Bruno has high praise for Sorell, and knows that her confidence is a key part of her early success.

“Since day one she has not appeared afraid or intimidated and is willing to compete in practice,” Bruno said. “She expects a lot of herself.”

Her passion and poise has impressed the veterans on the team as well. Senior captain Kari Kipper is impressed with Sorell’s attitude.

“What I like about her is that she isn’t intimidated by the other girls and she’s scrappy,” Kipper said. “She is not afraid to come down the floor and pull a quick three.”

Sorell has been under the bright lights before, as she helped lead the Hannibal Warriors girls’s basketball team to the Section 3 Class B Championship game while she was in high school. For Sorell, its all about learning on the go.

“I’m just happy to be getting playing time right now,” Sorell said. “The team just helps me a lot because they give me advice and it makes it somewhat easier. I still have a lot to learn. But I’m confident enough, I’m as confident as a freshman should be.”

She has proven that she is fully capable of coming in off the bench and adding depth to a Lakers squad that is deeper and more talented from a season ago. Bruno likes that Sorell is grasping the system quickly, and is thrilled with her ability to attack.

“She has been incredibly confident as a freshman and has done a great job of adjusting to the college game,” Bruno said. “She is not afraid to look for her own shot and has shown the ability to get to the basket, which creates more scoring opportunities.”

Sorell has the talent and work ethic to succeed senior Kassie Kleine as the starting point guard, but she says she just wants to absorb as much as she can from her teammates and coaches, so she can get better day by day.

“I really want to learn, I want to better prepare myself for the years to come,” Sorell said. “I’m not that focused on playing time right now because I just want to be better prepared for the future. I need to watch what Kassie does and how she leads the team.”

Co-captain Meagan Stover said not only is Sorell a great player, but she is also unselfish.

“She’s playing as a freshman,” Stover said. “It’s awesome that she is contributing to the team.”

Bruno expects a lot out of Sorell and loves that she maintains her fierce and competitive approach during both games and practice.

“She sets the tone defensively by pressuring the other team’s point guard, forcing them to turn in order to disrupt their rhythm and timing,” Bruno said.

Sorell is hopeful that the Lakers can make some noise in the SUNYAC playoffs.

“We want to make a run in the playoffs,” Sorell said. “We’re just going to go from there and try to get a win in the SUNYACS. We need to take it to the basket more and pressure the ball. We have great team chemistry so I think we have a lot of potential.”

The Lakers are off to a 3-0 start that includes their second consecutive Max Ziel Tournament Championship. Sorell and the rest of the Lakers will take on SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh at Max Ziel Gymnasium tonight at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

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