BYU soccer star and senior forward Ashley Hatch was recently invited to participate in the U.S. women’s national team camp.
The team has been working to take new steps forward.
“Right now, we are in a phase where we want to try to expand the player pool,” U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis said in a press release. “(We’ll) look at a number of players and start the long process to qualifying for the next World Cup.”
Hatch was one of 24 names released as possibilities to join the team. Of those 24, five are also forwards, and Hatch will be competing with each of them for a position on the team. Hatch is also one of just three current collegiate soccer players selected to train with the team, joining Stanford’s Jane Campbell and Andi Sullivan.
Hatch leads the nation in goals this season with 15 and has two hat-tricks on the season. But up to this point, her focus has been on helping BYU succeed.
“I want to keep winning with my team,” Hatch said.
Hatch’s BYU teammates say her ability to score has been paramount to the team’s success.
“I like Ashley in the box,” team member Michele Vasconcelos said. “She is so good at striking the ball with just one or two touches and she does it just sneaking through the box.”
The national team’s announcement comes as they prepare to face off against Switzerland twice this month. Ellis will pick 18 players from the pool of 24 before both games as the team trains in Sandy. This means that if Hatch doesn’t make an appearance in the first game, she still has a chance to play in the second. The first game will be played on Oct. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. The second game will be played in Minneapolis on Oct. 23.
Being named as a potential team member is only the first step for Hatch. The training camp and two games are a great opportunity for her. If she performs well and gives the coaches what they are looking for, she may be ending her time at BYU and joining the national squad.
Hatch knows how to battle and has proven that time and time again. In Hatch’s junior year at BYU, she missed the final eight games of the season due to injury, but still gained All-WCC recognition. She has helped pick up BYU on several occasions and has the support of her entire team as she prepares for the next level.
“It’s been amazing,” said BYU team member Nadia Gomes. “I love playing with Ashley. On and off the field, Ashley and I talk a lot.”
The Cougars have only had two other players play for age-restricted or select national teams: current coach and former All-American athlete Aleisha Rose and Shauna Rohbock.
“We are extremely excited and proud of Ashley and this accomplishment,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “She’s an amazing player and goal scorer. Our team will miss her while she is with them, but this experience and opportunity is huge.”
Hatch and the Cougars head to Torero Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21 to take on San Diego.