TEMECULA – The coalition of coaches from United Soccer recently announced the 2021-2022 High School All-Americans for states that conducted their championship season during the winter or spring. A total of 65 student-athletes were named All-Americans with a total of 20 boys’ players, and 45 girls’ players being selected for the prestigious award. On that list were two girls from California, both forwards. Sydney Middaugh, an incoming senior at Oak Hills High School in Oak Hills and Kate Jacobsen, a recent graduate of Temecula Valley High School.

Nicknamed “Jet Jet” Jacobsen, the newly crowned All-American, who was also named State ‘Player of the Year’ by the same organization, was a starter for the Lady Golden Bears soccer team since she was a freshman. That year she was not only a standout goal scorer, but she was also named First Team All-Southwestern League. Jacobsen would be the first to receive that honor under Temecula Valley Head Coach Jennifer Guinn’s leadership.

Her accolades did not stop there as she was named the Southwestern League Offensive MVP her sophomore year. Although she tore her meniscus during the League title game her junior year, she continued to play until the season ended, training even harder once cleared to play that summer.

Recent Temecula Valley High School graduate Kate Jacobsen was not only the Senior Class President, but she was also a standout athlete in soccer, golf and track and field. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

“She has earned honors each season and stepped into her senior year with a ‘No looking back mindset,’” Guinn said. “As a coaching staff we were blessed to work with her as she was instrumental in every aspect of the titles we received throughout the last four years. It seems only fitting to go out as an All-American, CIF-SS and SoCal Regional State champion.”

Guinn relied heavily on Kate, who understood each assignment and looked at every scenario with a winning mindset.

“She learned to lead, and even follow another’s lead with grace and encouragement toward her teammates,” Guinn added. As the season developed, she was truly exemplary in the team’s motto “Ubuntu.”

Guinn said the meaning behind the “Ubuntu” motto stems from the South African train of thought for qualities that includes the essential human virtues of compassion and humanity.

Jacobsen was known for her hard work on the field and in every match, with their Ubuntu “I am because you are mentality” she would sometimes be the goal scorer, but sometimes she was the one that helped set the stage for her team.

“She played in the state final on a torn ligament in her foot which no one knew about,” Guinn exclaimed. “Talk about mental toughness. She even scored the last goal of the game! There is no better way to end your high school career. We are all extremely proud of Kate and cannot wait to see her story play out. She is the full package! Kate will always be remembered by me as a legacy setter at TVHS and someone who I admire and believe will make this world a better place.”

Jacobsen, who is also a standout golfer and track and field athlete, says she has many wonderful memories, especially one that she shared with her graduating class at their commencement ceremonies, because many of her fellow graduates had experienced it together.

“As Senior Class President, school spirit is so important and the enthusiasm and momentum created by our soccer team’s Division 1 CIF Championship and State Championship runs is unforgettable,” she said. “Beating the odds and raising the state championship title above our heads in front of a home crowd, surrounded by teammates, friends and family, is a moment I will never forget! My team and I sacrificed so much and worked so hard. It was amazing to see it all pay off.”

Soccer has been the main part of her life since she was incredibly young. Playing at a high level in club soccer as well as on one of the best high school teams in the country was stressful, but she says she loved every minute.

Although Kate struggled with the fact that the sports dream she had worked so hard for was not turning out the way she had imagined it last year, she found inspiration in a familiar place.

My dad posted a quote by Jim Rohn in our house,” she stated. “It says, ‘Whatever good things we build, end up building us.’ As an athlete I have developed work ethic, strength and leadership, dedication, grit and sportsmanship. Would I ever go back and tell that three-year-old on the Firecracker team that it wasn’t worth it? NEVER! All of it, every win and every loss, every coach and every teammate has contributed to building the person I am today.”

“I have met some of my best friends playing soccer and have learned hard, but important, life lessons playing the game,” she says. “I have sacrificed so much to play and received so much in return.”

Jacobsen made a tough decision to put academics before athletics. She will be attending Brigham Young University where an offer to play soccer was not received. She turned down countless offers to play Division 1 soccer in college, but with an academic scholarship in place, she will be pursuing a degree in Exercise Science. Jacobsen wants to be a physician’s associate and is currently working in the medical field to begin earning the thousands of clinical hours needed to eventually apply to one of the graduate programs. After completing her freshman year at BYU, she plans to serve an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hopefully in a country that loves soccer.

“I know many of my coaches were disappointed when I turned down opportunities to play Division 1 soccer at universities other than BYU, which has always been my top college choice for its educational excellence and religious environment,” Jacobsen said. “I’ve dreamed of joining my siblings there as a student since I was very young and can’t wait to be on campus soon.”

As for being named an All-American, Jacobsen says she did not know much about the selection process but was with one of her best friends when she received a text from her coach telling her she was selected. She said it was really fitting since her friends were always a huge support and brought amazing energy to their soccer games, especially during the Division 1 CIF and State championship tournaments.

Kate Jacobsen was the Senior Class President in 2022 at Temecula Valley High School. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography

“It is an honor to be selected,” she said. “I know there are so many outstanding athletes in California that are very deserving, including my own teammates.”

Jacobsen feels like she would not be where she is today without her coach, her team and her family.

“Coach Jennifer Guinn believed in me since day one as a freshman and created an outstanding program that I have been lucky to be a part of for four years,” she said. “I’ve had the most amazing teammates every year, including fellow captains Natalie Mitchell and Peyton Bundy this past season, who have consistently made me a better player and person.”

Her family also played a vital role through the years, and never missed an opportunity to support her.

“That includes my little brother who was the best ball boy in team history,” she exclaims. “I also want to take this opportunity to shoutout to Coach Charlie, our announcer, who nicknamed me when I was freshman, and it has stuck with me, which made playing under the lights of Golden Bear stadium feel like playing in the pros.”

Article contributions made by Scott Padgett, owner of Time Stood Still Photography.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.