Senior midfielder Jaden DeGracie-Bailey became the UA’s all-time assist leader earlier this season against Texas Tech. A postgame tweet broke the news.
“I pride myself on assisting just because it’s really hard to score goals, but nobody really thinks about a person who helps make that happen,” said DeGracie-Bailey, whose 20th assist set the mark. “It was nice to see with the effort that I put in to see the result.”
The record setting assist came on one of DeGracie-Bailey’s most well-known plays, the flip throw-in.
DeGracie-Bailey gets a running start, presses the ball into the ground and then flips over and throws the ball into the pitch. The team often utilizes it when they’re in the opponent’s territory.
The flip-throw-in may come in handy for the Wildcats, who face Washington on Sunday in Seattle. UA (6-5-1) snapped a four-game losing streak Thursday with a win over Washington State in Pullman.
“There’s never going to be an easy team that we play,” DeGracie-Bailey said. “In our conference it is so competitive and it just comes down to the little details and finishing.”
DeGracie-Bailey’s work ethic sets her apart, coach Tony Amato said. Mistakes will come, but with a player like Jaden, Amato says he can live with the mistakes because of how hard she works.
“The biggest thing with Jaden is she just works her butt off,” Amato said. “She is committed to the cause of helping the team win, and you know every day that she is going to lay it on the line and try her hardest. That’s all you can ask of players.”
DeGracie-Bailey juggles more than just a soccer ball and school.
She and Travis Bailey were married in January. Without Travis’ support, DeGracie-Bailey said, things would be tougher.
“He makes it a lot easier just because we get along so well,” DeGracie-Bailey said. “If I was with someone who wasn’t supportive then it would be a lot harder. Because of our relationship, I’m able to do what I love and I can help support him with what he loves to do, too.”