JAMESTOWN – Jakob Moore, a member of the Jamestown Community College men’s soccer team, has signed his National Letter of Intent to further his academic and athletic pursuits at Dixie State University.
Moore, a Wellington, New Zealand native, thought that maybe one day he would be lucky enough to play collegiate soccer at the highest level. It looks like his luck came through for him.
“All we ever hear about in New Zealand is Division I, it’s like nothing else exists, so the NJCAA at the time seemed a little irrelevant,” said Moore “I kept it real and knew my chances of jumping straight into a DI program were slim to none, but still joked with my friends about maybe one day getting lucky and having a chance on some fluke. I came to JCC without really knowing what I wanted to make of it and was still trying to figure out whether I really loved playing or just did it for something to do, so just decided to put my head down and see where it took me.”
“For the past two years, Jakob has had the opportunity to improve on his athleticism and skills as the starting goalkeeper for JCC,” said JCC men’s Soccer head coach Pat Anderson. “He has demonstrated the focus and dedication to becoming the best player he can be.”
During his freshman year, Moore started in 14 matches for the Jayhawks and compiled a record of 1-5-1. Moore made 78 saves during the season while giving up 2.72 goal per match. As a team, the Jayhawks went 3-12-3 and was draining for the players on the team but Moore found his love for the game once again.
Moore said on his freshman season, “It’s not fun to get smacked every week, especially when you’re the goalkeeper. However, it was the season I really needed to find my love for the game again because it let me play without the pressure of winning or being perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of boys to be surrounded by. I owe that whole year to Eric Priester (goalkeeper coach) and Nick Mole (sophomore goalkeeper) for backing me on and off the field, and making every single training that year equally as enjoyable as they were productive. While as a team we weren’t the best that year, that’s a good situation to be in as a goalkeeper who wants to make a name for themselves.”
Even though the team didn’t have the success that they would have wanted, Moore was a First Team All-Western New York Athletic Conference selection.
After finding his love for the game once again, Moore knew he had a chance to continue his collegiate soccer career after JCC as he was getting looks from some NCAA Division I and II teams.
“I was on the radar of some Division I schools as well as some strong Division II schools, which upped the ante and I finally had a goal to work to” said Moore. “I hated pressure as a kid but now I live for it, so coming into this season knowing that there were big things out there if I wanted them really upped the ante.”
“I was honored to be chosen as captain, and paired with a big inspiration of mine in Michael Andalora, we really wanted to turn the whole program around,” Moore continued. “I’ve never been more proud than I was standing at the back watching us dismantle Erie Community College in the first-round of the playoffs. We did a pretty decent job if you ask me, I couldn’t have asked anything more of my teammates. It’s a group and a season that I will absolutely never forget.”
Moore’s sophomore season really will be one that he will never forget. During the 2019 season, Moore improved on all aspects of his game and his stellar play made his team a contender and a team to be reckoned with in the post-season. Moore played in 21 matches and had a record of 10-4-3 while making 144 saves. Moore’s goals against average also went down, allowing 1.51 goals per match. Once again with his outstand play, Moore was named the First Team All-WNYAC team.
The 2019 season was the first time that JCC made the post-season since 2014 when they reached the Region III Division III Championship match. The Jayhawks this past season won their first-round match against ECC with a 4-0 win. In the Jayhawks wen on the face Genesee Community College in the semifinals and lost 3-0. The 2019 season was also the best season for the Jayhawks since 2012 and the first time the team had double digit wins since the 2013 season.
When asked about his time at JCC, Moore said that he wouldn’t change a thing. “A number of our sophomore players made huge strides forward as players individually over the last two years and I’m ridiculously proud of them,” said Moore. Sure, I’m not leaving with a ring, but when I look at the way players improved and the way the program has been flipped on its head in two years, there’s no ring or championship that could beat how that makes me feel.”
Not only will it be a transition for Moore moving up the NCAA Division I ranks, but it will also be a transition for Dixie State as well. This past season, the Trailblazers went 11-8-1 and a 9-5 record in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference of the NCAA Division II. Dixie State defeated the No. 5 seed of the RMAC 1-0 in the first-round of the conference playoffs but their season ended with a 6-0 loss against the No. 1 seed Colorado School of Mines. This will be the last time the team competes in Division II and the team will be making the leap to the Division I ranks.
“As for Dixie State, I’m really excited to join their program” said Moore. “I had a handful of Division 1 schools reach out, most of which I did my best to keep under wraps, but what made Dixie State standout was the opportunity it presented.”
“The idea of being able to be a part of this school’s history was a unique aspect that I really liked. I was flown out for a visit and stood in the middle of their stadium with the coach after training and it was basically sealed then and there. While it’s hard to nail down what it was exactly, between the school, the coaches, the players and the opportunity as a whole, everything about Dixie felt good right from the jump.”
Moore will look to make an impact upon his arrival. The Trailblazers are graduating three seniors including last year’s starter in net.
“His superior work ethic has been rewarded with the opportunity to continue on as the starting goalkeeper at Division I Dixie State,” said Anderson.
Moore went on to say that he was very appreciative of everyone that has helped him along this journey and says this is only the beginning.
“To everyone that has been involved, while my role within the team is very individualized, I couldn’t do any of it without a huge group of people. From everyone in the athletic department through to my friends over in the marketing department, they’ve all played a part. As for the team, I couldn’t have done this without every single one of them, they all had their unique impact on me as a person and a player during my time here, and like I said, I’m very proud to have been able to play with every single one of them. I don’t want to single people out, but I have to specifically thank Michael Broughton. I’ve lived next to the kid for two years now and he’s been like a brother to me since day one, he’s made this whole country feel like a home. Last but not least, my family. They’ve sacrificed and supported me more than I could ever say thank you for, so in return I’ve played and worked every day with them in my mind, all I can do from the other side of the world is make them proud, so that’s always been the plan.”
Lastly, Moore said that this all could not have been possible without the guidance of Anderson. “I’ve got to say thank you to coach Anderson for getting me here in the first place and giving me the trust and freedom to be myself. I have absolutely loved working with him. He’s a huge asset to this school both as a coach, teacher and a role model, we are very lucky to have a coach that cares so much about his players personal performances and their own futures rather than just winning and losing. Ty was great as a goalkeeper and assistant coach this year and JCC’s goalkeeper unit is in great hands should he stay around, he’s as good a goalkeeper coach as I’ve had since first picking up a ball, if not the best.”