There have been many exceptional girls soccer players come through Western Pennsylvania in recent years, but very few have found the level of individual and team success Jayden Sharpless has accomplished during her entire high school career.
During the 2018 WPIAL girls’ soccer season, Sharpless burst onto the scene scoring goals at a torrid pace.
Sharpless had a freshman season like no other: 64 goals and helped lead her team to a Class 1A WPIAL title and PIAA runner-up finish.
As she began her sophomore year, Sharpless would surprise people as she transferred to attend North Catholic, which she was initially ruled ineligible by WPIAL.
However, a short time later, following an appeal, Sharpless would be permitted to play at North Catholic that season. Once she joined on with her new team, North Catholic, an up-and-coming program that was starting to have success, would emerge as the top team in WPIAL Class 2A girls soccer.
Now in her senior year at North Catholic, Jayden has quietly amassed 127 goals for her high school career.
“My goal totals are products of what each of my teams needed out of me. I played different positions and contributed as each year demanded.”
While many have been busy counting her goal totals over her high school career, Sharpless was more concerned about counting something else: medals.
Sharpless has won three WPIAL titles in her first three years as the top scorer for each team.
The first title came with Freedom in 2018, then the next two Class 2A titles with North Catholic.
Sharpless has been part of two PIAA finalist teams. 2018 with Freedom playing alongside her sister Myla, then with North Catholic in 2020.
North Catholic fell in the PIAA semifinals in 2019.
“Championships are far more valuable than goals. A team’s success is measured in championships won”, Sharpless said.
In her freshman year, she played at the top of Freedom’s attack as the team’s primary striker. When she transfered to North Catholic, she didn’t see the goal numbers in her sophomore year as she switched to the midfield, two-way role at North Catholic.
Against 2A competition, she become more of a complete player, but still came up with goals when they mattered most.
Sharpless reminded everyone she still had the touch — and ability to score in the clutch — in the WPIAL finals when she lined up over a free kick and bent the ball into the top corner of the net for the game winning goal in the 2nd overtime to defeat Yough.
here's the game winner from Jayden Sharpless that give North Catholic girls it's first-ever WPIAL soccer title, to beat Yough, 1-0 in 2OT pic.twitter.com/GzLSbyGIa5
— John Krysinsky (@JohnKrysinsky) November 2, 2019
It was North Catholic’s first ever WPIAL championship in girls’ soccer.
“We deserve it,” Sharpless said. “We just made history for North Catholic.”
In a pandemic shortened mad-dash 2020 season, Sharpless and her teammates did it again, this time beating fellow section rival Avonworth three times, including in the WPIAL final, and completing a near-perfect season.
Now, once again, the Trojans are the top seed and by all accounts, are favorites in this year’s Class 2A field to win three straight soccer titles, a feat that hasn’t been done by any WPIAL school since Mars accomplished it in 2010-12.
Jayden and her North Catholic teammates will take on Yough October 30th at Mars in hopes of taking one more step towards Highmark Stadium and another step towards that elusive gold medal in Hershey.
“I hope to end my career with a WPIAL and a state title. To go four-for-four for the WPIAL would be awesome but a state championship would be amazing, absolutely amazing.”