Jill Farley shined bright on the soccer field for the state-champion Timberwolves

by: DAN BROOD - USING HER HEAD -- Jill Farley capped off her Tualatin High School soccer career with a state championship and long list of honors. TUALATIN — It’s easy to tell that Jill Farley is a friendly person.

She always seems to have a bright smile on her face and a joyful, gracious tone to her voice.

But that friendly person is also a fierce competitor.

Her bright smile seems to shine even brighter after a taste of victory. As for defeat, well, for Farley, there’s not anything much worse.

“I’m a competitor,” Farley said with a smile. “I think I hate losing more than I love winning.”

Fortunately, Farley, who graduated from Tualatin High School earlier this month, didn’t have to deal with very many losses.

That’s because, in addition to being a friendly person and a fierce competitor, Farley is a heck of a soccer player.

“She’s amazing,” Tualatin High School girls soccer coach Kalé Dwight said of Farley. “And she’s an all-out competitor. It’s in her blood.”

Farley has been a fixture on the Tualatin High School girls soccer team for the past four years. And, during those four years, the Timberwolves put together an overall record of 60-6-5, which includes a pair of state championship victories.

“I had so much fun here,” Farley said as she sat near the Tualatin High School turf soccer field. “It’s really nostalgic for me now that it’s over. This field was kind of like home, with the team bonding, the practices and the games. It’s sad that I’ll never play here again.”

Farley may never play another match at the Tualatin High School soccer field, but she sure seemed to leave her mark at the field — and around the state.

That especially seemed to be the case this past fall, when Farley enjoyed what easily could be called a spectacular senior season, as she helped lead the Wolves to the Class 6A state title.

And it was a senior senior filled with honors and accolades.

As a Tualatin senior, Farley was named the Pacific Conference Player of the Year, the Class 6A Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Oregon, the Oregon Sports Awards Girls Prep Soccer Player of the Year and she was also tabbed the MVP of the Class 6A state championship game, where the Wolves got a 2-0 win over Sunset.

by: DAN BROOD - GOAL TIME -- Tualatin's Jill Farley jumps into the air after scoring a goal in the state title game. “It’s so flattering and humbling,” Farley said of her slew of awards and honors. “I couldn’t do it without the team. It’s not just me out there. I absolutely share them with the team — I’m glad I could be a part of it.”

Now, Farley has another honor to share with the team, as she’s been selected as The Times’ Athlete of the Year from Tualatin High School. The honor goes to the top senior-class athlete, as seen by The Times, at the school for the 2013-2014 school year.

“This means so much to me,” Farley said of her four years at Tualatin High School. “The wins and losses helped build me into the player I am.”

Starting off

When Farley stepped onto the field as a Timberwolf freshman, she was surrounded by a group of talented upperclassmen, including seniors Chelsea Albertson and Stephanie Galluzo.

“It was really intimidating,” Farley said. “The seniors seemed so much older. It was scary.”

But, being on the team with the older players turned out to be a good thing.

“They took it so seriously here, which I love,” Farley said. “And Rosey (former Tualatin coach Rossano Rocha) took it so seriously. That really helped me.”

A tough decision

Farley took off as a Tualatin sophomore.

In the 2011 season, she helped lead the Timberwolves to the Class 6A state championship match, getting an assist in a 1-0 semifinal win over South Salem, while earning the first of her three all-state first-team honors.

But Farley ended up missing the state title tilt, where the Wolves got a 1-0 victory over Sunset.

Instead, she was competing with the Region IV team in a high-level Olympic Development Program event that was going on in Florida at the same time.

“That was a huge deal,” Farley said of the ODP event. “There were a lot of college scouts there.”

But that didn’t make the decision any easier.

“It was absolutely tough,” Farley said. “I remember waiting to see how the team did. When I called and was able to get through, I heard screaming and cheering. It was great. I was happy. We won the championship, but I didn’t really have the feeling that I was a champion.”

That seemed to fuel Farley’s motivation even more.

by: DAN BROOD - PLAYING HARD -- Tualatin's Jill Farley (right) went all out for the Timberwolves during her senior season.Determined seniors

Coming off a 2012 season that saw Tualatin lose to Sunset 2-1, in overtime, in the second round of the state playoffs, it was a determined group of Timberwolf seniors, including Farley and Madi Campbell, that took the field this past fall.

“We prepared all summer to put our plan in place,” Farley said. “We wanted everyone to feel at home. We knew it was going to be important to have great leadership and unity. We wanted everyone to feel equal.”

That plan worked to perfection.

“Jill and the seniors did an amazing job with that,” Dwight said. “I’ve been around this team for eight years, and this group of seniors set the standard for leadership. The new seniors have a lot to live up to.”

The team had some early-season growing pains, suffering a 5-0 loss to Skyline, Wash., and a 3-0 setback to Jesuit in the first two weeks of play.

“Before we lost to Jesuit, we went up to Washington and got our butts kicked,” Farley said. “It was a test of our character. But we knew we could turn it around. And we knew that we’d see Jesuit again. It was all about mindset.”

Following the loss to Jesuit, Tualatin went 8-0-2 over its final 10 matches of the regular season.

“I think the turning point was the Grant game (a 4-0 non-league victory on Sept. 26),” Farley said. “That was huge for us. I think that was the first time that we all clicked as a team.”

The determined Farley certainly seemed to do her part for the Wolves as they turned things around. She mainly played in the defensive line, but she turned out to be a force all over the field.

“Yeah, we gave her free roam,” Dwight said with a smile.

Postseason glory

After opening the Class 6A state playoffs with wins over Lakeridge, South Salem and Sheldon, Tualatin got its rematch with Jesuit, coming in the semifinals.

Jesuit went into that match with a record of 14-0-3. The Crusaders also hadn’t allowed a single goal on the season to that point.

“It was an eerie feeling going into that game,” Farley said. “But we needed some nervous adrenaline.”

The teams played to a 0-0 halftime tie. Then, just over three minutes into the second half, Farley did what no one else had done all season — she scored a goal against Jesuit.

“That felt great,” Farley said. “I think they were shocked.”

The Wolves later got a goal from junior Kyla Hackelman to wrap up their 2-0 semifinal victory.

“We had a big celebration, but the next day, we started focusing on Sunset,” Farley said.

Tualatin went on to face the Apollos in the state title match, and, for Farley, it was her first chance to play in the state championship contest.

“I had no idea what to expect,” she said. “I had butterflies in my stomach. It was just a whirl of emotions.”

In the championship match, Tualatin took a 1-0 lead on a first-half goal by Hackelman. Farley then capped off the 2-0 victory with a spectacular free-kick goal coming early in the second half.

“That was probably my second-biggest goal ever,” Farley said. “It was just behind the goal in the Jesuit game. My last two goals were my biggest ones.”

And Farley scored plenty of goals for the Wolves. In her senior season, despite playing mostly on defense, she had 12 goals and 11 assists.

“That should tell you something,” Dwight said.

For her career, she had 57 goals, and 46 assists.

“She was the anchor of our team,” Dwight said. “She’s an amazing player and an outstanding leader.”

Taking on Tigard

As can be expected, Farley had some special feelings for Tualatin’s matches with rival Tigard.

“It’s always a struggle against them,” Farley said. “It’s a great rivalry. There’s no hate, but you need to win that game. This year’s game (a 1-1 tie), was a good game. It’s always fun to play against a good team.”

“I have so much respect for Jill,” Tigard 2014 graduate Emilee Cincotta said. “She works so hard. It so much fun playing against her. She always gives 110 percent.”

by: DAN BROOD - CHAMPIONSHIP SMILE - Jill Farley, a 2014 Tualatin High School graduate, played many matches at the school's soccer field. Farley will play at Loyola Marymount University this fall. Traveling and teaching

In addition to her passion for soccer, Farley also seems to have a passion for helping people, as she has made three service-mission trips to Haiti.

She made trips with a church group, both in the summer of 2011 and in January of 2012.

She returned to Haiti, by herself, for three weeks in August of 2012, to teach English to children living in an orphanage.

During that trip, she lived in the orphanage, where there was just one other person who spoke fluent English.

“It was important to me to experience their lives,” Farley said. “I wanted to live like them, and eat like them. It was an amazing experience and it absolutely was a learning experience.”

Farley, and her parents, sponsor a total of three children, two girls and a boy, at the Haiti orphanage.

The Farley family

Speaking of her parents, Rob and Deanna Farley, Jill Farley says she couldn’t have done it without them.

“They’re so supportive,” she said. “They’ve been to every game, and they’re not pushy parents. Their support is absolutely important. You only have one family, and they mean so much to me.”

Jill also has two older siblings in her brother, Ryan, 27, who flew in from Washington, D.C., to watch the state championship match, and her sister Kelly, 22.

“I’m the baby,” Jill Farley said with a smile.

Going to Cali

Farley will continue her scholastic soccer career at Loyola Marymount University, located in Los Angeles.

“I’m super-excited for that,” she said. “It’s a dream.”

Farley said that Loyola Marymount is looking for her to play in the defense.

“I’ll play where ever they want me to play,” she said. “I’m working hard to be ready. I’m working on my foot skills every day.”

Dwight, for one, is confident that Farley will excel in college.

“I think she’ll do really well,” he said. “And I’m already excited to watch her at the next level after college.”

While that may be down the road a bit, one thing looks to be for certain, Loyola Marymount is getting quite a competitor — a competitor with a friendly smile.

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