"We have a lot of stars in our constellation at Sacred Heart — we're very lucky — and sometimes she gets lost in the shadows," Pace says. "But if you take a look at last year's playoffs….She had five goals and two assists in seven playoff games and that's when the competition is the toughest and that's when you really know what players are made out of by what they bring in the most critical of times."
A quick study in the classroom, as well, Jacobs has a 4.3 grade-point average and a collection of some top soccer and academic schools —Georgetown, Pepperdine, Nevada, Williams College and Claremont College — on her short list of college destinations.
"Ever since middle school I've been a student athlete, so that's really been important to me," Jacobs says. "My family has definitely stressed the academic side of things because you never know, if you lose soccer you're going to have to have something to fall back on. I've always wanted to go to an academic and athletic school so I can have the best of both worlds."
And success on the field and in the classroom isn't all that makes Jacobs stand out to her peers and teammates.
"Obviously, she's a talented player skillwise, but the thing about Jill that stands out to me the most is she's a teammate on and off the field," Conti says. "I was very sick last year and she was the only one who visited me in the hospital. She was there for me through every step. …She will give everything she has all the time."
More big things are expected of Jacobs this season, not just by coaches and teammates, but by herself.
"You can just tell she's bringing a lot of confidence back to the playing field with her," Pace says. "I don't think there's any question that success breeds success."
Says Jacobs: "I'm definitely coming in with some confidence and I'm sure our team is, too, but we always want to be humble, too, and take it one game at a time. My team really supported me and helped me get the opportunities I got in the games, but it definitely helped [my confidence] to do so well in the playoffs last year."
The Tologs won't be lacking in talent and depth this year. With Jacobs on board, they won't have to look far for a clutch performer once league championships and postseasons are on the line either.
"I've been telling her every single practice, this is her year, I can feel it," Conti says. "Not like she wasn't amazing last year, but I feel like this year she is just going to powerhouse the team. She is going to be one of the key players that we will need in the [big] games."