Jillian Hall taking soccer skills to VMI

Jonathan Law's Jillian Hall signs her letter of intent to play soccer at Virginia Military Institute.

Jonathan Law's Jillian Hall signs her letter of intent to play soccer at Virginia Military Institute.

Contributed photo / Jonathan Law Athletics

Jillian Hall from Jonathan Law wanted more from her upcoming college years than a four-year degree.

A soccer keeper and budding psychologist, Hall found what she craved most at Virginia Military Academy in Lexington, Va.

“I’ve had aspirations of going into the service since I got to high school,” said Hall, who helped coach Alicia Francisco’s Lady Lawmen make states and split a pair of postseason games. “For me to have a chance to serve my country and to play soccer is awesome.”

VMI coaches first saw Hall play for the Connecticut Football Club out of Bethany before her junior year.

“Assistant coach Danni Pappas and I connected, and she invited me to make a visit,” Hall said. “Last summer, I took another trip to the school and was sold.”

VMI is unique in its military requirements. Institute regulations require that all Cadets complete four years of ROTC training in one of the three ROTC programs: Army, Navy/Marine or Air Force.

“I don’t know what sparked it, but I want to have a career in the military,” Hall said. “I want the military to be my life and will look to be recommissioned. You can pick any branch of service. I chose Army. I can’t think of anything better going forward than to be a psychologist and being stationed overseas.”

Hall had a well-rounded career with four years of soccer and basketball.

“My mom Jen and dad Tim encouraged me to play both sports,” Hall said. “I loved playing for Law and representing our school. We had so much fun competing together. In my opinion, people think of being a goalie as being on an island. It isn’t. Communication is needed. You must have the ability to lead and to build trust with your defense. They had my back and I had theirs.”

Francisco said: “Jill is a force to be reckoned with. Her presence in net is well-known by her teammates and by our opponents. Moving forward to VMI, I think she will easily transition. Before our state game against E.O. Smith (where Law won their first ever state game), Jill explained to her teammates that at VMI the girls quietly walk around the field before a game and visualize what they are going to do well that game. So, we did it, and clearly it worked.

“But really, that just shows me that Jill is eager and ready for the next phase in her life. She is going to VMI with an open mind and the same fierceness that she has always had at Law. She has left her mark as a goalkeeper to look up to at Law, and her shoes (or should I say her gloves) will be hard to fill.”

Hall will continue playing for CFC when she can over the summer.

“I will be going to VMI for Aug. 3 for fall practice and what they call New Cadets matriculate is on Aug. 17,” Hall said.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354