‘Amazing’ Chieffo has bright future
Coach says JFK star is ready for college game
WARREN — Alexa Chieffo sees the scope of the entire pitch in front of her, calling out to her teammates as the play develops.
Formations are easier to spot in front of the pipes and netting of a the 24 feet-by-8 feet soccer goal.
It’s what the John F. Kennedy High School senior girls soccer player has seen in front of her for the past couple of seasons.
Extending herself from head to toe only to see the ball graze over the crossbar. Other times it’s a shot from 15 yards away toward a corner. Chieffo either pokes it away with one of her goalie gloves or envelops it in her grasp.
Her friends and family are usually there to see her theatrics.
“Keepers are controlling the field,” Chieffo said. “It’s not just about making saves. It’s about controlling the field and being to be able to be there for your team, organize the girls. Making a big save is part of that job we have to do.”
She was JFK’s last line of defense. Chieffo was one of the major reasons why the Eagles won a Division III district championship last season. Chieffo is continuing her career at Capital University near Columbus where she’ll major in political science.
“She was one of the most talented, if not the most talented in the local area,” JFK girls coach Kayla Zoccole said. “I think she’s going to come in as a freshman at Capital and wipe the slate. I think she’ll be a starter all four years. She saves us and won us district championships. I can see her winning us some titles, too.”
Zoccole, a former Youngstown State University women’s soccer player, said seeing Chieffo play was amazing. Chieffo posted three clean sheets (shutouts) last season and allowed only one goal in two games for JFK (12-8).
“She’s so agile and quick, so athletic,” Zoccole said. “She makes saves that not a normal high schooler, let alone female of her size, makes.
“I played for YSU and some of our goalkeepers didn’t even makes saves like she made at the high school level. She’s impressive when it comes to athleticism all around. She’s amazing.”
Chieffo said he’ll miss the camaraderie with her team next season, but it’s that goodwill that helped her be an outstanding keeper for the Eagles.
Chieffo was named all-Ohio three times, along with all-district and all-Trumbull County four times at JFK. She was named North Coast League MVP twice.
“I think that whole mantra starts with the relationships you have in practices and games with the girls, just building that trust and being a leader for the girls,” Chieffo said.