BYU women’s soccer star Ashley Hatch recently returned to the Cougars after joining the U.S. women’s national team for tryouts to make the 18-player roster.
“Of course we are super excited for Ashley,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It wasn’t great timing for us, but what an amazing opportunity for Ashley.”
Hatch received her first national game experience against Switzerland on Oct. 19, playing in Rio Tinto Stadium. Hatch substituted into the game, replacing Tobin Heath in minute No. 75. It was her first time stepping on the pitch with an official national team jersey.
Hatch isn’t sure if she’ll be invited back to rejoin the USWNT, so she appreciated the rarity of the event.
“When I knew I was going in, for me it was just about gathering all of my thoughts and trying to stay composed,” Hatch said. “Once I got in the game, I was ready and focused. It was a very special moment.”
Rio Tinto was filled with Hatch supporters. All of Hatch’s BYU teammates were there to witness her game as well as other BYU athletic supporters and fans of Hatch. Her time on the field was met with great reception.
“I think all of the players that came in tonight were deserving in the last couple of days of getting some playing time in this game,” USWNT head coach Jill Ellis said in a press release. “I’m exceptionally pleased that they all came in and looked like they belonged.”
Hatch didn’t make an appearance in the second game against Switzerland on Oct 23, but remains hopeful about her performance and where she will end up.
Hatch said in a press release, “It’s a great honor, and I’ve had lots of fun. I hope it continues.”
Hatch will now return to her BYU teammates to finish out the season with the goal of winning a national championship. The nation’s third-leading scorer leads the Cougars in their season finale against Gonzaga on Nov. 5.