Woodbridge’s Jayla Land advances the ball in a match this season. (Photo courtesy Woodbridge soccer)
Woodbridge High soccer star Jayla Land appears to have a bright future playing for Washington State University, where she has committed to play NCAA Division 1 soccer.
“Jayla is an extremely decorated athlete and the most authentic player I have ever coached,” said Warrior Coach Jackie Farber. “She is the hardest working player at practice, always first and last on the field, always wants to improve. She’s one of those players who will stay after practice is over just to get more reps in.
“This season she was one of our senior captains and also a huge help with it being my first season and helped ease the communication efforts between myself and the players. She never missed a practice and always brought an irreplaceable level of intensity and leadership to the team. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her play; she was on a whole different level than everyone else and I knew right then and there she’s something special.”
Land, a four-time varsity letter winner and three-time all-league player, led the Warriors to the Pacific Coast League title this past season. She played center midfield and forward for the Warriors.
The team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the CIF playoffs and finished with 19 wins. Land, who was named the Woodbridge MVP two times in her career, was one of the leading scorers and led the squad in assists.
“On a technical level she’s extremely talented when it comes to footwork and first touch,” Farber said. “The ball is like a magnet to her foot. She has that one vs. one mentality and isn’t afraid to take on multiple players. She also has impeccable field IQ and knows the game so well which is highlighted by her precise ball placement whether it’s a set pieces, defensive efforts or starting the offensive attack. “
Land, who had a 3.7 GPA, is also a member of the Elite Club National League soccer team Slammers FC. She also earned two varsity letters in track.
“Athletically speaking she’s also wildly versatile and is one of those kids who would really be the best at any sport she played which is what makes her so special,” Farber said.
“Apart from soccer she’s also an incredible kid who I very much enjoyed getting to know as a person,” the coach said. “She has a genuine level of integrity and character and also a great student. She has a contagious attitude when it comes to the passion and intensity behind the game. She’s confident and knows how to inspire her teammates to all want to be their best and push the limit, together.
“She’s coached me just as much as I coached her. She challenged me every day on a coaching level and made me want to be more creative at practice as well as a better leader and coach all around.
“A true leader is someone who not only raises the bar and inspires you to be better, but also helps you get there whether it’s being a good teammate or a great friend. And that’s Jayla. She is a one-of-a-kind person and soccer player. Washington State gained a good one.”