Girls soccer: Jefferson Academy’s Houck finally captures elusive state title

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
The Jefferson Academy girls celebrate after winning the 3A State Championship game against Kent Denver on Tuesday, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Jefferson Academy won the game in a shootout in overtime.

Mira Houck had won just about everything there is to win in her career, and Tuesday night she finally captured the one trophy that had eluded her: a state championship.

After the Class 3A title game between Houck’s Jefferson Jaguars and Kent Denver went to penalty kicks tied at 1-1, Houck buried her shot into the top right corner to give the Jaguars the win after the Sundevils missed twice.

“I was thinking, I just need to make this one. We were all focusing on making one at a time instead of the whole thing. We each focused on ourselves and it was perfect. I’m so proud of them,” she said.

Houck, a junior, has been named CHSAA All-State and BoCoPreps All-Region in each of her first two seasons and has committed to play at Metro State. But after missing out on a state title as a freshman and a sophomore, she’s finally checked the most important award off the list.

“This is better than any individual award I could ever win. I would rather win this than any other award. This is the best thing ever,” she said.

Noticeable by her distinctive protective headband, Houck was all over the field Tuesday night, as usual. She got back on defense, played distributor in the central midfield, directed her teammates around, and pressured the Sundevils goalkeeper. Her name wasn’t on the scoresheet until the final kick of the game, but her fingerprints were all over it.

“Mira is a cog for our team, she does a great job. She’s a hard worker,” said Jaguars head coach Denise Sutton. “I’m real happy we have her and a lot of those juniors back next year. It’s going to be a strong program for a while.”

“I need to stay confident, but not cocky, and practice hard,” Houck said.