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Dec. 5, 2007

By: Clary Wright, South Carolina Media Relations

Brooke Jacobs reflects on the reasons she chose to play women’s soccer at the University of South Carolina.

“I like the South,” the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, native said. “I wanted to come to warm weather, and when I came to the campus I loved it. I loved everything about it.”

And USC loves everything about having her here. A Soccer Buzz Top 200 recruit and three-time Public Opinion all-star coming out of Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Jacobs made a great first impression by scoring three assists in her first two collegiate games against Marshall and Tennessee. She was also selected SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory against Arkansas, her first goal of the season.

But first, she had to be patient. After tearing her ACL during her senior season in high school, she spent her first weeks at South Carolina doing therapy with the team’s physical trainers. That forced her to sit the bench for the first eight games of the season, something unfamiliar to the player that holds the Chambersburg Area records for goals in a season as a freshman (23), sophomore (24) and junior (25).

“It was very hard,” Jacobs said. “I love the game of soccer and having to sit and watch games was extremely difficult. I just wanted to run out on the field and play.”

Jacobs also found support in fellow freshman Brittiny Rhoades, a Wilmington, Del., native who played with Jacobs on the FC Pennsylvania Strikers club team. The two girls came to USC together this year and are now roommates. Jacobs says that having a friend on the team made it easier to go to a college so far from home.

“We help each other with any problems we have with any schoolwork and we always support each other with soccer, running and working out,” Jacobs said. “She is my family away from home.”

After completing rehab, Jacobs’ therapy paid off in a big way. After making her South Carolina debut in the Marshall match, Jacobs, a forward, played in the next 14 games and collected four starts. She finished the season with one goal and three assists, with the goal coming from an assist from best friend Rhoades.

The Gamecocks, who held a top-25 ranking throughout most of the season, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in the school’s history and finished the season with a 14-6-3 record, tying the most wins in program history. Having been ranked only one week in the program’s first 12 years, Carolina peaked at No. 7 this season and was ranked for all but one poll this season.

“It’s been awesome,” Jacobs said of the team’s success. “There were a lot of records either broken or set this season, and I am happy that I was on the team that did that. I hope each year to come we can do just as well.”

And with three more years of Brooke Jacobs on the field, the Gamecocks can.