Former BYU Cougars soccer star wins ESPY award

Ashley Hatch, who won the NWSL’s Golden Boot a season ago, has become a key member of the USWNT.

Chicago Red Stars' Bianca St. Georges, right, battles with Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch (33) during the first half of an NWSL Challenge Cup soccer match at Zions Bank Stadium, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Herriman, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Former BYU soccer star Ashley Hatch can now add an ESPY to her trophy case.

The Washington Spirit forward was named the Best National Women’s Soccer League Player on Thursday night, during ESPN’s annual award ceremony.

Hatch was the league’s Golden Boot winner last season after scoring 10 regular-season goals and one postseason goal. So far in 2022, Hatch has scored 10 more times. She beat out her Spirit teammate Aubrey Kingsbury, OL Reign’s Jess Fishlock and Gotham FC’s Caprice Dydasco for the ESPY.

Hatch, who played for BYU from 2013-16, has also become a fixture for the U.S. women’s national team.

“It’s huge for me,” Hatch told The Salt Lake Tribune ahead of a friendly match at Rio Tinto Stadium last month. “It’s my first time kind of experiencing all of the excitement and the expectation of making a roster, qualifying for a World Cup, qualifying for the Olympics. So it’s all new to me. Normally I’m a spectator or cheering on other teammates trying to make these rosters. So it’s exciting. It definitely pushes me every day.”

The USWNT recently won the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, earning a spot at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Unfortunately, Hatch had to leave the tournament early due to injury.