Soccer player Gironda’s scoring ability keeps the accolades coming


Kent State celebrates as Jessacca Gironda (far right) scores her second of three total goals against Bowling Green State University on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2013, leading the Flashes to a winning score of 5-1. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Richie Mulhall

Senior soccer player Jessacca Gironda has been quite a treat for Kent State fans to watch this season.

After the Kent State soccer team’s game against Bowling Green State University last weekend, Gironda’s mother Pam Gironda noted her daughter has always had a knack for scoring, even when she was a child.

Last week, Gironda was named the Kent State Student-Athlete of the Week and the Mid-American Conference female Scholar-Athlete of the Week for her historic offensive efforts that led to the Flashes’ 5-1 win against the Falcons, their first MAC victory of the season.

Gironda earned her accolades by becoming only the fifth player in program history to record a hat trick, which is no small feat.

“It’s nice to see one of our players receive the honor,” said head coach Rob Marinaro said. “Jess is a fantastic student-athlete, so it’s always nice to see her get recognized as a tremendous student athlete.”

Gironda said completing a hat trick was an awesome experience, but she commended her teammates for supplying her with multiple opportunities to score throughout the game.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates,” Gironda said. “Soccer’s a game where you can’t score on your own. You definitely need your teammates, and they just came through really big and put me in position to score some easy goals.”

Gironda complemented her scoring accomplishment by racking up a pair of assists in the game as well. Her goals and assists contributed to all five of the Flashes’ goals and combined to total a school-record eight points, which engraved her name in the Kent State record books.

She has a unique ability to be at the right place at the right time and find a position dead center of the goal where she can readily receive a pass within a moment’s notice.


Games played: 12

Total games: 12

Started: 858

Minutes played: 7

Goals: 3

Assists: 40

Shot percentage: .175

Shots on goal: 16

Shot on goal percentage: .400

Penalty kick/attempts: 2-2

Gironda said she attributes her ability to sneak past opposing defenders and capitalize on narrow scoring opportunities to her constant motion during games.

“I just try to always keep moving and put myself in great positions because I know my teammates will give me a good ball, and if I’m there, I’ll be able to finish it,” Gironda said.

One player who works especially well with Gironda and helps set up goals is sophomore Madison Helterbran. Helterbran said since she has been playing with Gironda for almost two years now, the duo is comfortable playing together and can communicate effectively during games.

Gironda “is having a big year for us in scoring, which has helped us a lot because she has gotten goals that have got us through games to get the win,” Helterbran said.

To Gironda, whose senior season is slowly coming to an end, the team winning as many games as possible means everything.

Although Gironda said it was honor to win Student-Athlete of the Week and lead her team in scoring with seven goals and 18 points, she has a more important goal in mind. Putting her individual aspirations aside and making the team her No. 1 priority, Gironda is setting her sights on the ultimate reward to the hard work she has put in during her four years at Kent State: a MAC Championship.

“It’s not the end-all,” Gironda said of the individual achievements she has received this season. “We’re shooting for a MAC tournament, so whoever scores the goals or gets the assists, as long as it helps us win games, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a MAC Championship, so if I can be the one to do it, that’s awesome, but if somebody else can do it, as long as we win.”

Currently for her career, Gironda has 23 goals and 60 points, consequently ranking third in both categories.

“She’s a player that came in right from the very beginning to take care of business,” Marinaro said. “She goes about her business and does things extremely well. You never really have to ask a whole lot from Jessacca. She’ll go above and beyond what’s necessary.”

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].