FC London’s women’s side has scored 31 goals this season in just seven matches.
Twenty of those goals have come off the head, feet or body of striker, Jade Kovacevic.
Take a quick moment to do the math. That is 65 per cent of her team’s scoring.
That’s a just a tick shy of enough to qualify for the two-thirds rule of majority in politics.
And it’s enough to have put a major stamp on the soccer world. She rules the front of the goal.
Of course, this is nothing new for Kovacevic.
Even though her memory doesn’t stretch back to her first goal in the sport, it may very well have come in one of those 4-on-4 games with no goalies. There is an excellent chance that she was not one of little players decked out in their shirt, shorts and sin guards who was sitting down on the field, picking clover.
She was the player who understood what was happened and where the ball needed to go and was responsible for a hat trick or better every game and a whole lot of wins for her team.
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A couple of decades later, Kovacevic is still scoring hat tricks and her team is still winning games. The Georgetown, Ont. native, who now calls herself a Londoner, has four hat tricks in 11 matches this season and FC London has gone unbeaten since June 3 as they defend last year’s League 1 Ontario title.
“I have a hunger in front of the goal to put the ball away,” deciphers Kovacevic.
Finishing plays as well as she does, tends to get Kovacevic notoriety. Goal celebrations are largely centered around her, but she is as quick to deflect the credit as she is to direct a ball across a goal line.
“Getting the ball up the field and all of the effort that my teammates put in making the right decisions on the ball and being in the right places, it’s just my job to put it away. They do their part, I do my part and we go home happy.”
There are a few too many career goals to count already, but for Kovacevic, nothing beats a 1-on-1 with the keeper.
“My favourite is to beat the keeper with a dribble. It’s a little more risky, but it’s fun in the way that it adds a little more of a creative side.”
Kovacevic admits that with all the ways she has been able to put a ball into the goal, she there is one way that she has never even attempted: the bicycle kick.
“I’m trying to work on that,” she laughs.
Bicycle kick or not, when you put up the kind of numbers Kovacevic does, doors open.
She has represented Canada at the 2010 U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago and at the 2012 U-20 World Cup in Japan. Kovacevic has also played NCAA with Louisiana State where she was named one of the Top 100 Freshmen by TopDrawerSoccer.com
The question has been circling Kovacevic for more than a year now: what’s next?
“I’m definitely still challenged by my coach Mike Marcoccia. I definitely still find myself trying to find new levels and new heights. The quality here is great. I’ve grown so much under Mike as a coach. Taking a step in a different direction is a possibility… I would love to go to the national program again to get a stab at that and overseas would be a great opportunity as well.
Whether it is a spot on a club in Italy or another part of Europe or the National Women’s Soccer League, the future is always be a very bright place for natural goal scorers.
Right now Kovacevic’s focus is FC London.
After alternating wins and loss to begin the season, FC has been on a tear and has risen from the middle of the table in the League 1 standings to a tie for second place with the Vaughn Azzuri, who they pounded 6-2 on August 2 on the back of a four-goal performance from Kovacevic.
FC sits just two points back of North Mississauga FC for first place. They have met once this season and played to a 2-2 draw, but things are very competitive throughout the top half of the league standings and there are still just under two months left on the schedule.
And that goes a long way to explaining Kovacevic’s personal success and FC London’s success overall in 2017.