School Sports

Soccer Savant Jessie Halladay Commits to LMU

By Sophie Sullivan


Genuine in demeanor and deliberate in play, senior Jessie Halladay is a true force to be reckoned with in her last year of club play, before joining the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) women’s soccer team next year.

Halladay’s career in competitive soccer began with a broken arm nearly 10 years ago. After a stint with a recreational team and the Los Gatos United Soccer Club, she reached out to the San Jose Earthquakes coach and asked to try out. Despite breaking her arm at her first practice with the team, Halladay “didn’t want to come off as bad,” she explained, “so I kept on playing… and that’s how I got here.” The club later changed its name to FC Bay Area-Surf, where she’s played since.

FC Bay Area-Surf’s team dynamic challenged Halladay, and she initially felt like “the worst on the team,” and that “the other girls were insane.” However, starting at a lower level drove her to succeed, commenting that her coaches’ “certain style of play” kept her on the team and in the sport.

Halladay scans the field, preparing for domination.

“Instead of just booting [the ball], they have a meaning for every pass. I had no idea there was this whole different side to the game… like for any sport, there’s being good because you’re athletic, and being good because you know the game.”

She detailed that, as with most academic and athletic endeavors in the past two years, the pandemic limited her communications with recruiters and coaches. With cancelled tournaments, Halladay had few opportunities to play in front of college scouts at showcases. Instead, she and fellow recruits relied on “film from past games and connections.”

“Having a good relationship with many of my coaches helped me a lot,” Halladay acknowledged. It’s this relationship — and the environment which her coaches create on the field — that led her to LMU.

“The coach was a huge part of my decision. It comes back to the style of play that she tries to incorporate,” she said. Both her club coaches and the LMU coach, Jenny Bindon, employ the same considerate playing style. The team dynamic attracted Halladay, who said, “the staff and the people [in the program] are so nice. I’ve never heard anything bad about them, and I like hearing the honest truth of everything.”

Over the next four years, she “wants to play until [she] know[s] when [she] genuinely want[s] to stop playing,” a feeling she believes she’ll have after accomplishing her collegiate goals. “I want to see where this takes me, I want to like the team, and I want to go in there and see what I can have an impact on,” Halladay added. “And I want to win.”

Reflecting on her career thus far, Halladay points to her college commitment, winning National Championships for her age division this past summer, and improving along the way as a few of her biggest accomplishments. But above all, she views her spot on Surf as her most valuable feat.

“From where I started to now — not any trophy or anything, but the journey of getting to where I am… that’s the biggest thing.”

Categories: School Sports, Sports

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