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Jacobs looks to continue coming up big in the clutch

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's 'under the radar' weapon has big expectations for breakout junior season

November 27, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

It was evident in last year's state title run and figures to remain the case when nearly all of the squad's key members return this season — the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy soccer team has a plethora of offensive stars who, when working together, can make scoring look effortless.

In a 2009-10 campaign that saw the team go unbeaten in the Mission League, reach the CIF Southern Section Division II semifinals and win the first CIF Southern California Regional crown (Division III) in program history, the Tologs scored 72 goals, had a pair of starting forwards finish with 23 and 19 goals, respectively, and had six different players register double-digit points.

But they only have one Jill Jacobs.

"She's just one of those all-around good players who is well-respected on and off the field by all of her teammates and even the coaches," Tologs senior co-captain Alyssa Conti says. "She went a little under the radar. She wasn't really noticed, but in those huge games, she was the one who pulled through for us. When we needed it, out of nowhere, [she] just came up with a big goal."

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On a roster that often shone blindingly with star power, Jacobs, an outside midfielder, still found a way to stand out again and again in the most pressurized situations during her sophomore year, earning the reputation as a clutch scorer and facilitator who could deliver consistently when things looked their most dire.

With the Tologs set for another run through the perilous Mission League and moving up to Division I this season, Jacobs, who registered 12 goals and four assists last season, figures to get plenty more chances to play the hero as a junior.

"I definitely think our main goal is to get the triple crown — hopefully to win Mission League, win CIF and then state," Jacobs says. "It's going to be a really tough, tough challenge, but I think we're up for it and we have a great group of girls. We're hoping to show everyone that we're still growing as a team and that we're going to continue to go out there and play as hard as we can every game."

In last year's signature wins over defending-champion Saugus in the CIF quarterfinals and Francis Parker in the regional title game, Jacobs provided the spark that lit the comeback fire.

With the team down, 2-0, to Saugus at halftime, it was Jacobs going far post from 20 yards out in the 45th minute to key a rally of three unanswered goals down the stretch that produced a 3-2 win.

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