Jones College women’s soccer wins 1st-ever national championship

Dolores Deasley, Jones College women's soccer coach
Dolores Deasley, Jones College women's soccer coach(Jones College)
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 5:00 PM CST
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TUSCON, Miss. (WDAM) - For the first time in program history, Jones College sits atop junior college women’s soccer.

Gemma Whitchurch, Celine Ottah and Hilary Jaen scored a goal apiece to help the Lady Bobcats secure a 3-0 victory over Overland Park (Kan.) Johnson County Community College in Saturday’s title game of the National Junior College Athletic Association 2023 Women’s Soccer Championship.

“They were brilliant the whole tournament,” said JC head coach Dolores Deasley. “We’ve played four games in six days and it’s remarkable what they’ve done. Just so proud of them.”

Jones (17-1-1) got a goal from Whitchurch 3 minutes, 46 seconds, into the final match and, as it has for the entire national tournament, the Lady Bobcats’ defense basically did the rest.

Fifth-seeded Jones did not allow the seventh-seeded Lady Cavaliers (18-4-2) a shot on goal in Saturday’s entire match as goalkeeper Jona Hennings picked up her 15th victory of the season in net.

Over four matches in the national tournament, Jones outscored its opposition 12-1, including three consecutive shutouts in its final three matches. The lone goal Jones allowed was a penalty kick.

“Our back line, they’re a brick wall – that’s what we call them,” Deasley said. “They’ve been phenomenal.”

Celine Ottah scored her fourth goal in three games to give the Lady Bobcats a 2-0 halftime lead.

Ottah also assisted on Whitchurch’s opening goal of the game, while Hilary Jaen aided Ottah on her goal.

Jaen then capped the scoring in the second half with an unassisted goal.

The national crown was the first in the 16-year career of Deasley.

“It’s emotional for me being here so long,” Deasley said. “This has been a dream of mine as long as I can remember. It’s pretty sweet.”

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