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Jacobson earns spot with Rhinos

The Barlow graduate starts a professional career in New York

Barlow High School graduate Liz Jacobson is a true Globetrotter, although she makes money playing a sport other than basketball. Instead of wearing red, white and blue shorts and dousing the audience with buckets of confetti, Jacobson is playing professional soccer in New York.

She has attended five different colleges, including stops in California and Hawaii, before spending her senior season at Buffalo State.

'It's been a great experience, the only hassle is always transferring credits,' Jacobson said. 'I've been able to see a lot of different cities, and I have friends from Hawaii to Florida.'

Her journey took a 180-degree turn when she went from the relaxed West Coast to the faster pace of New York.

'When I got to New York, it was like I was in the Twilight Zone,' Jacobson said. 'It's a whole new attitude. I've had to stand up for myself, and I've really grown as a person. I was kind of lost for awhile, but now I've found who I am.'

She turned in a stellar soccer season, leading the Bengals 17 goals and eight assists. That led to a tryout with the Rochester Rhinos of the Women's United Soccer League - the Portland Timbers play in the men's division.

'Ever since I was a little kid I've wanted to play pro soccer, but this really opened the door for me and showed that I could really do this,' Jacobson said. 'It's fun signing autographs and seeing these big eyes looking up at you. It feels great to be an inspiration to these girls.'

Jacobson comes off the bench to play up front for the Rhinos. She made the most of a chance earlier this month scoring the tying goal with about five minutes to play.

'I went in toward the end of the game and coach (Rene Rivas) told me 'Just score,'' Jacobson said. 'Hearing the fans cheering was just crazy. It was the best goal of my life.'

Rochester lost that game in overtime, but is in the middle of the pack in the Northern division with a 2-3 record midway through the season.

Jacobson plans to graduate next fall with a health and wellness degree. She is considering careers in public health or police work.

She would also like to earn a roster spot with a West Coast soccer squad, so that she can play in front of her family.

'I've been to a lot of places, and there isn't anywhere quite like Portland,' Jacobson said.