SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It was a disappointing and somewhat shocking move when former BYU soccer star Ashley Hatch was left off the U.S. World Cup roster this summer.
Hatch was a rising star on the team who proved she could put the ball in the back of the net.
But Hatch has been called back up to the national team, and will play in an international friendly on October 26 at America First Field in Sandy against Colombia.
Hatch is using her omission from the World Cup as motivation to stay on the team for next summer’s Olympics.
“It’s always a motivation to be able to play on a national team,” Hatch said. “Ultimately at the end of the day, it’s the coaches decision to decide who makes the roster, so I’m going to continue to do everything in my power to play the best soccer that I can play.”
Without Hatch, the U.S. bowed out of the World Cup in the Round of 16 to Sweden, ending the team’s eight year reign atop the world. But they’re determined to get back on top.
“I know everyone’s disappointed with the results,” she said. “It was a really hard tournament for everyone, but the U.S. Women’s National Team is the best team in the world. I think that’s a rich tradition that will continue.”
Hatch was in Sandy last year with the U.S. National Team and is thrilled to be able to play in front of family and friends again.
“Utah has a special place in my heart,” she said. “It’s always exciting to be able to come back and play in front of a lot of family and friends that still live there. Obviously any time I get to step out on the pitch wearing the crest is an honor.”
Hatch will be back in Utah sometime next year whenever her team in the NWSL, the Washington Spirit, plays the newly revamped Utah Royals.
“I was really excited to hear the return of the Royals,” said Hatch, who has scored 26 goals in four seasons with Washington. “I love playing in Utah and I think it’s a great market for a women’s professional soccer team. Who knows, maybe further down the road in my career, I don’t think it would be a bad place to end up.”
Hatch, who scored 46 goals for BYU from 2012-2016, has kept her eye on her alma mater. The Cougars have been ranked as high as #1 in the nation this season.
“I turn on the game every time I can watch if I’m available,” she said. “So it’s been really fun to follow them in their success.”
Hatch and the USWNT will take on Colombia Thursday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. at America First Field.