Eldrege embraces variety


Senior Taryn Eldredge takes the ball upfield during their exhibition match against Westminister earlier this season. Courtesy of UVU Athletics

For her final season Eldredge’s Wolverine athlete husband helps her to be the very best

Versatility, the ability to do multiple things and play multiple positions, has been the new sports wave of the last decade. Coaches drool over players who bring a multi-faceted skill set, or can at least develop one.

For the Wolverines, Taryn Eldredge’s versatility isn’t just a gift – it’s how she rolls.

“I’m definitely a well-rounded person,” Eldredge said. “I don’t believe in just focusing on one thing in your life, because things are always changing.”

Her transition from high school to college soccer drove that point home. A second-team All-State defender at Bountiful High, Eldredge was asked to shift up field to play midfielder for head coach Brent Anderson.

While the switch came as a surprise, Eldredge tackled it like she does any variety in her life, embracing the role as a fun, new option.

“Coach Anderson threw me into midfield even though he recruited me as a defender,” Eldredge said. “I had no idea what I was doing at first. Now, I love it and I wouldn’t go back. Even when I play midfielder, I play kind of a defensive game. I think it’s the best of both worlds.”

The ability to affect both sides of the field enabled Eldredge to start all 20 games as a true freshman in 2007. She scored one goal and added three assists that season, while lending her defensive mindset to the midfield.

Were it not for her desire to remain well rounded, Eldredge might never have donned a UVU jersey.

Idaho State courted Eldredge out of Bountiful, and when it came down to choosing between the Bengals or the Wolverines, two things swayed her decision: Coach Anderson and Provo versus Pocatello.

“I pretty much came mostly because of [Coach Anderson],” Eldredge said. “I’d heard he was such a good coach. That, and Pocatello isn’t as much fun. My grandma lives there, so I’d been there quite a few times. There’s just not a lot to do.”

To Eldredge, the idea of not having a lot to do is a foreign concept. She enjoys doing almost anything outdoors.

Her husband, Casen, a Wolverine wrestler she married last May, has since supported her active lifestyle. Eldredge loves to visit Casen’s parents, who own horses and take care of their dog while she and Casen finish school.

The double-athlete pairing also benefits the Wolverines. Eldredge credits her husband for motivating her to stay well conditioned.

“He’s actually the one who inspired me to be in really good shape,” Eldredge said. “Since he’s also a really good athlete, he’s helped me become more dedicated. He pushed me to do my very best for my senior year.”

And her “very best,” her effort, may be the lone invariable in Eldredge’s life.

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