by Andrew Garda
While the Montclair High School girls soccer team was ready for their NJSIAA North 1, Group IV semifinal matchup against Livingston Tuesday, the weather refused to cooperate. The game was postponed until Wednesday (and finished after press time) but for senior captain Jillian O’Toole, neither the rain nor the delay is dampening her enthusiasm.
“In my opinion, the season has been going really well,” O’Toole said after indoor practice at the Sports Domain Academy in Clifton. “This is the most confident I’ve ever been while being in states, because I feel like we’re really capable of going really far and winning. I think part of it is because we have really good team chemistry and our friendships are all really strong.”
For O’Toole, the team chemistry is a critical part of the Mounties’ 2018 success.
“It’s like playing with 30 of your sisters on the field,” she said. “If you play with people you don’t know it’s so much harder because you don’t know their style, you don’t know how they work. And so we do a lot of team bonding stuff outside of soccer and I think that’s what makes our team chemistry so good.”
O’Toole, who has committed to play Division I soccer at William & Mary, took a few minutes to answer some questions for this week’s Athlete Spotlight:
Have you been in contact with the William & Mary coaching staff?
I went for my official visit a few weeks ago and that was really fun because I got to meet my class and other girls on my team and stayed over one night. They’re doing well too, so that’s really exciting, going next year to be in a team that’s doing really well this year.
What appealed to you about William & Mary?
The coach there is friends with my mom, so even though it’s kind of far away, that’s a tie to home. And that’s where my mom went and played soccer . She loved it there, and I’ve heard really good things about it. It’s a beautiful campus and a good school academically, so it seemed like a good fit for me.
Do you have a major in mind?
I don’t know what I want to study yet. Something in business, maybe.
What do you do for fun?
I like to hang out with friends, play outside, bake and watch TV and movies. I bake cookies a lot and brownies. When I was young I’d always bake with my mom and stuff like that.
What kind of shows, movies or books do you like?
My favorite movie is the Parent Trap and my favorite TV show is Friends. I’ve watched it all the way through like five times. I don’t read much, I wish I read more. In the summer I like to read for fun, but during school you just don’t have time especially when you’re already assigned a book.