WD2 Notes: Jahelka's Family Helps Her Score Big for Adelphi
Adelphi junior attacker Jacqueline Jahelka looks toward midfield and scans up to the stands before every game. That’s where she’ll find her mother or father, each of whom have made an effort to see their daughter, no matter how far away.
“I love to see my family there,” Jahelka said. “They always have one person at the game, so whether it’s my mom or dad or grandmother or my brother or cousins, they are always standing above the 50-yard line. Before the first whistle blows, I make sure to look up there and give them a wave.”
It’s common for parents to travel to watch their children, but what makes the Jahelka family unique is that it has to balance supporting two NCAA athletes at different schools. Jahelka's brother, Stephen, is a senior defenseman at Harvard. Both are on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, with Jacqueline Jahelka being the only Division II representative on the women's side.
Bob Jahelka, their father, said navigating the lacrosse season with his wife, Patty, takes a lot of preparation.
“The planning usually starts in September or October, once the schedules come out,” he said. “You have to start to plan because … we try to make sure somebody is there to watch every game. It doesn’t even matter who they’re playing. We just want to be there.”
Bob and Patty Jahelka have watched their children grow from being local standouts in Garden City, N.Y., to collegiate players gaining national recognition.
For some time, Stephen Jahelka, a top recruit out of Garden City and 2012 U.S. U19 team standout, took most of the headlines after committing to Harvard. Meanwhile, Jacqueline Jahelka was establishing her spot as a role player with a year left before college.
Now years later, Jacqueline Jahelka is making a name for herself with the two-time defending NCAA Division II champion Panthers. She scored 68 goals in 2015.
Stephen Jahelka hasn’t passed up an opportunity to support his sister.
“I actually put her [2015 Northeast-10] championship game on the big screen in the locker room before one of our games,” he said. “The entire team was just sitting around trying to see how Jackie Jahelka was doing.”
With last year’s leading scorer Alexa Froccaro, the cousin of Villanova’s Jake and Joey Froccaro, graduated, Jahelka will be looked at to shoulder even more of the load on Adelphi's offense. She said she’s ready for the challenge, but trusts the rest of her offense to step up as well.
“Alexa is definitely a huge loss that we’re going to try to make up for on the attacking side,” she said. “As a junior, I’m definitely trying to take a different role, maybe more of an attacking role. But it’s all a group effort.”
Jahelka is off to another strong start in 2016, scoring 16 goals and dishing out three assists in the Panthers' first three wins. She tallied a season-high six goals Tuesday night in a 13-3 victory over Southern New Hampshire.
Jahelka is on pace to score more than 85 goals this season on a team that looks poised to compete for a third straight national title. Coach Pat McCabe said Jahelka’s leadership and work ethic is a big reason why his team is 3-0 and No. 1 in Division II.
“There’s never been a day since I’ve been on the job where I looked at her and said, ‘We need to get more out of Jackie Jahelka, or Jackie Jahelka needs to work harder,’” McCabe said. “Those words have never come out of my mouth.”
Jahelka, the team’s lone captain, has already led Adelphi past two ranked opponents (Grand Valley State and Florida Southern) in a tough 2016 schedule. Three ranked teams still await the Panthers, including a matchup with No. 2 Le Moyne on April 19.
McCabe said the goal for this season is not just to get the three-peat, but to grow as a team and play well together.
“We talk about a championship culture and playing like champions and acting like champions,” he said. “There’s a big difference between winning a championship and being a champion. Just because you have a trophy doesn’t mean you’re a championship team.”
Adelphi will look to continue its reign for another year, hoping to win the NCAA championship in Denver in mid-May. But wherever the season ends, the Jahelka family will be there.
"Knowing them, they are our biggest supporters,” Jahelka said. “Whether I played in California and Stephen was on the East Coast, they would find some way to make it work.”
Le Moyne Makes Its Case
The Dolphins solidified their No. 2 ranking, opening the season with wins over No. 9 Mercyhurst and No. 8 LIU Post. Senior attacker Erica Geremia tallied a hat trick to boost Le Moyne to the 9-7 win over LIU Post on Saturday.
This week, the Dolphins will host No. 11 Grand Valley State, while No. 1 Adelphi hosts two unranked opponents. With a convincing win over Grand Valley State, Le Moyne could put even more pressure on the top-ranked team in Division II.
Saints Remain Undefeated
Limestone got its first signature win defeating Seton Hill 9-7 to knock the Griffins out of this week’s rankings. The Saints took a 4-1 halftime lead and held on through the second half to improve to 4-0 for the fourth straight season.
Three-year starting goalie Sydney Teeter posted a career-high 12 saves to help preserve the lead and hold Seton Hill attacker Emily Fagan to two goals. Midfielder Taylor Cline and attacker Jaylen Schulte scored twice each to lead the way.
The Saints will travel to Tampa tonight at 7 p.m., looking to keep the momentum rolling.
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