BYU women’s soccer alumna Ashley Hatch awarded the NWSL Golden Boot
What is better than Dorothy’s red shoes or Cinderella’s glass slippers? The coveted Golden Boot. BYU women’s soccer alumna Ashley Hatch of the Washington Spirit was awarded the NWSL Golden Boot for scoring the most goals in the league this season.
Hatch played at BYU from 2013 to 2016. In her first season with the Cougars, she scored five goals. In her sophomore year, she went on to score 17 goals. Hatch was injured her junior year and missed eight games. Despite her injury, she scored four goals and led the conference in overall shots and shots per game, according to her BYU athletics profile.
Speaking of Hatch’s time at BYU, women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood said, “Ashley is someone who has always put in all the work. She was the hardest working player when she was here.”
During Hatch’s senior year, she scored 19 goals and was drafted second overall by the North Carolina Courage in the 2017 NWSL College Draft.
The transition from college play to a professional league did not slow Hatch down. She scored seven goals in her first season and was proclaimed 2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year. Hatch also helped the Courage to win the 2017 NWSL Shield.
BYU SportsNation co-host Jarom Jordan said Hatch is a special goal scorer because “her touch on the ball is incredible and her speed is top-notch. She’s put in the work from a young age and it’s awesome to see her flourish at the highest domestic level in the NWSL.”
Hatch was loaned to Melbourne City from 2017 to 2018 and scored twice while there. She also helped the team win its third title as W-League Champions.
Mikayla Colohan is a senior on the BYU women’s soccer team and was asked what Hatch’s success means to her. Colohan is a fellow NWSL draft pick, selected by the Orlando Pride last year. Colohan has also been an important scorer for BYU with 16 goals this season.
Colohan said Hatch’s success means a lot to her and others on the team because Hatch is a role model for them because she has been successful at BYU and the highest level of play in the NWSL. “It’s cool to have somebody who did it where we’re all at and see that it’s possible for all of us to achieve the same things.”
After Hatch’s time in Melbourne, she was then traded to the Washington Spirit, staying on the East Coast of the United States. Despite changing teams frequently, Hatch remains relentless.
Since joining the Spirit in 2018, Hatch has scored 23 goals, 11 of which are from the 2021 season when she received the Golden Boot.
“She just is a hard worker, she plays hard, she has a nose for the goal, she loves to go to goal and I’m super excited for her,” Rockwood said.
On Nov. 9, the U.S. Women’s National Team announced its training roster for a trip to Australia. Hatch was added to the roster and will join the team for the two games in Sydney and Newcastle.
“She was a great goal scorer in college and it has translated with a tremendous work ethic in the NWSL,” Jordan said. “She’s repping the Y incredibly.”
The Washington Spirit is competing in the NWSL playoffs, where Hatch scored the singular goal to move the team into the semifinals. The Spirit then surpassed the OL Reign on Sunday, Nov. 14. Hatch and the Spirit will face the Chicago Red Stars for the championship on Saturday, Nov. 20.