Lake Forest College juniors John Cappuccitti and Shari Jacobson represented the United States on the D-3 Select Soccer Team at the 2017 Brazil Tour May 29 through June 7. Cappuccitti and Jacobson were invited to join the team after their outstanding performance last season, which earned them recognition from the Midwest Conference and National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The tour was created to give athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level while also providing numerous opportunities for educational, cultural, and social growth.
The USA men’s and women’s soccer teams were each comprised of 16 players, all of whom were recognized as All-American, All-Region, or All-Conference selections.
Cappuccitti, a midfielder, helped lead the Foresters to a conference title last fall. He was named First Team All-MWC as well as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year after leading the team with 11 goals and 29 points.
When talking about the opportunity, Cappuccitti noted that he was “more excited than nervous and interested to see how the team members would interact with each other.” Cappuccitti joined fellow MWC athlete Major May from Grinnell College and several other notable players from the NCAA Division III level.
The Forester women’s soccer team also finished its season strong as semifinalists in the conference tournament after tying for second place in regular season play. Jacobson, a defender, played in 17 of 18 games for the Foresters and started all but one of those contests. She was also a First Team All-MWC selection and was voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Heading into the trip, Jacobson expressed excitement “to see a new culture and to have the opportunity to compete with the best Division III players in the country.” She went on to admit she was “a little nervous. It kinda feels like going into freshman year of college – there’s an unknown factor, but nerves are a good thing for athletes.”
Despite the tour falling during a time when both Cappuccitti and Jacobson were out of season, both athletes remained dedicated to staying fit post-season. In fact, prior to departing for Brazil, Cappuccitti noted that he was in the best shape of his life. Jacobson prepared for the tournament by joining the SC Pumas club soccer team in Australia, where she studied abroad spring semester.
Organized by Ron Smith and the USA Sports Tours and Events, Cappuccitti and Jacobson played four games over the course of a week-and-a-half. In addition to playing in competitive matches, the trip also presented opportunities to see historical sites throughout Brazil as well as a chance to tour Christ the Redeemer Statue, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Copacabana Beach.
Fast forward two weeks, Cappuccitti and Jacobson returned after their once-in-a-lifetime trip. The United States men’s team went 3-0-1 with Cappuccitti contributing 4 goals and 5 assists to help them along the way. The United States women’s team finished 2-2. Jacobson proved to be an invaluable component to the team’s success throughout each of the games. Both athletes, despite wins and losses, believe that their biggest take-away from the trip will be the relationships they formed with fellow athletes. After returning home, Jacobson stated that “the people made the trip.”
Congratulations to Cappuccitti and Jacobson for their success on the trip and thank you for acting as ambassadors for Lake Forest College and Forester Athletics.