Lierman stands tall on soccer field, basketball court
Posted on April 05, 2019
Senior Tara Lierman finished her dominant soccer career at Grand Valley with an impressive list of accomplishments.
A two-time All-American, Lierman was a crucial member of teams that won four conference championships, four NCAA regional championships and made three national championship game appearances, including winning the title game in 2015.
Not ready to retire from collegiate athletics after the end of soccer season, Lierman decided to add something else to her resume: joining the women's basketball team.
A former basketball standout at Holt High School, Lierman said she had wondered about the possibility of joining the basketball team since her junior season of soccer, but didn't ask until this year. After a week-long tryout, she was invited to join the basketball team, a transition she described as "very smooth and easy," thanks to support from coaches and teammates on both teams.
"The soccer and basketball teams already have a great relationship, supporting each other and hanging out, so the basketball team welcomed me with open arms and treated me like one of their own from the start," Lierman said. "My soccer coaches and teammates have been unbelievably supportive to me; they come to games and were really excited for me to be a part of this journey."
Lierman said her experience on the soccer team helped her make the transition.
"I understand what it takes to perform at a high level and the hard work and dedication you must have," she said. "I learned this through my soccer experience and I have really tried to connect with the younger players on the basketball team to help them understand this grind and to trust the process."
Both her basketball and soccer coaches credited Lierman's athletic success to her mental toughness.
"Tara doesn't come to practice to try and prove herself, she comes with a mindset of how she can help the team," said Phil Sayers, associate head coach for women's basketball. "Her energy on the bench during games is contagious, and she is selfless in all she does."
Head soccer coach Jeff Hosler said: "Tara is a winner. She doesn't participate or compete, she wins or puts in the work to find ways to win. Tara is an incredibly driven and determined individual who inspires others by her endless approach to bettering herself."
The women's basketball team wrapped up a successful season on March 18, winning a GLIAC regular season championship and reaching the third round of the NCAA tournament.
-- written by Madison Barnes, student writer