North Texas Daily

Soccer’s Dani Jacobson brings energy on and off the field

Soccer’s Dani Jacobson brings energy on and off the field

Soccer’s Dani Jacobson brings energy on and off the field
November 03
14:00 2022

Freshman goalkeeper Dani Jacobson is the first freshman to start at the position since Jackie Kerestine in 2011.

Recruited from Colorado last year, Jacobson has started 17 of soccer’s 18 games this season. As she took the field for the first time, Jacobson said she was nervous.

“Before my first game, my heart was pounding out of my chest,” Jacobson said. “Warm up was fine, but then when I got out on the field and the whistle was about to blow, I was like ‘holy s— this is real’ — it was crazy.”

Jacobson has been playing soccer since she was three years old, but did not start playing goalkeeper until she turned 10.

“I started off as a defender, and then one day my goalkeeper went out and I was like ‘let me get in, let me get in,’” Jacobson said. “All because I wanted to punt the ball. That was literally the only reason — from there I just took off.”

Jacobson said she did not have much confidence early on, but high school was where everything started to click.

“High school was kind of where I found myself,” Jacobson said. “No one truly believed in me at the start, but then in my senior year I gained a lot of confidence.”

The Colorado-native gained a lot of on-field experience during her time in high school playing for the Colorado Rush Soccer Club. She said playing for the club “massively” helped her early adjustment to the college game.

“My club kind of left it to ourselves to be that big player on the field, and we held our standards very high,” Jacobson said. “We always had a good amount of pressure on ourselves which I think led to mine and a bunch of my teammates’ success in college — we were getting set up to succeed.”

Jacobson said she was initially supposed to redshirt in her first season with the Mean Green. However, this changed when she saw the team’s roster posted online with her name listed.

“I did not intend to start, not at all,” Jacobson said. “All the practices and all through the preseason I worked hard, and it shows now that I am playing a lot — I am happy about that.”

Assistant coach Dylan Burnett said Jacobson came in “ready to go” and the decision to make her the starter was a “no-brainer.”

“She has leadership qualities most freshman do not have — she directs the team, and she does all the right things,” Burnett said. “We are incredibly proud of her progress in just this first year — we are really excited about our future with Dani [Jacobson].”

In just a few months, the 17-year-old has already become a leader on the team. Kat Burnell, a forward and another true freshman standout for the Mean Green, said it feels like Jacobson is not a freshman.

“Dani [Jacobson] is like the glue to the team — she is just such an easy girl to get along with,” Burnell said. “She will not even know you and she will act like you have known each other for a long time, and I think that is something we really needed.”

Jacobson said she spent the first couple of weeks testing the waters but being vocal and being a leader is just the nature of how she is.

“I am just a very competitive person and no matter what age you are, I am going to get on you,” Jacobson said. “I am not afraid to chirp about something if I do not think it is right, but it is not trying to be mean, it is always trying to get to the end goal.”

While Jacobson is poised on the field, she has a different personality off the pitch. Burnett said when she steps in the locker room, she is often the first to start the celebration.

“She knows when to flip the switch and get the team ready when times are serious, but she is also the first one to play some music and goof around — she is the life of the party,” Burnett said.

Assistant coach Alexsis Cable said Jacobson came in and immediately blossomed in the locker room.

“She is definitely our team DJ, team dance animal and leading the dance parties,” Cable said.

Jacobson said she is looking forward to the future and is intrigued by the challenge of playing in a new conference.

“I am excited to see our team grow, to get to know these girls more, and to have lifelong bonds with them,” Jacobson said. “I am glad I found my home here.”

Image Source: Mean Green Sports

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Garrett Stringfellow

Garrett Stringfellow

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