Kent State soccer’s Gironda named Academic All-American

Richie Mulhall

Senior Jessacca Gironda, a forward on the Kent State soccer team, was tabbed a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American on Wednesday. Gironda is the third Kent State soccer player to achieve Academic All-American status.

Gironda is also the first Flash to win this highly esteemed accolade in two sports, as she earned the honor in softball last season.

“It’s a dream come true and a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to do that in two different sports,” Gironda said. “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play both sports; both coaches let me and gave me the opportunity to excel.”

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a collegiate student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve on the team, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale and be nominated by his or her sports information director.

This year, Gironda had all of these credentials.

Leading Kent State’s offense and Mid-American Conference in goals and points this past season, Gironda guided her team to a 12-7-1 season record and a 7-4-0 record in the MAC.

A selfless player, Gironda gave her teammates as much credit for her award and accomplishments as she gave herself — and maybe even a little more.

“It’s a great honor, and I think that it just shows how well we did as a team overall to put myself in a position to be able to do it both academically and on the field, so I think it all comes back to having great teammates who trusted me and were willing to sacrifice everything to help the team win and make sure that I was able to be a big part of the team,” Gironda said.

The Akron native’s 33 points on 14 goals and five assists pushed her name to the peak of Kent State’s record books for points and goals in a single season. And that was not the only record-setting accomplishment she achieved this semester, either.

Gironda etched her name into Kent State history again when she finished her unforgettable soccer career as a Flash with a program-record 78 points and 31 goals. Her seven game-winning goals also ranks third in program history.

In addition to her recent Academic All-American award, she was selected to First Team All-MAC, the College Soccer Madness Mid-American 2013 All-Conference team, MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week and two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Gironda’s success on the soccer field was not the only thing that stood out to CoSIDA, the program that has granted more than 18,000 student-athletes Academic All-American honors since its conception in 1952. The business management major has attained excellent academic standing with a 3.88 GPA and found success in the classroom as well as on the soccer field.

“I think it just takes a lot of good time management, and I’ve been able over the years to develop it over the years,” Gironda said about juggling academics and athletics at the same time. “I think the biggest thing is balancing school and sports, and that school comes just as important as sports because in the long run, that what will get you the job.

“I’ve been able to balance that, and it’s paid off for me.”

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].