High School: East Wake
Position: Outside defender
Why Western Carolina? Ashton visited several other schools prior to a trip to Cullowhee to take part in an elite-level soccer camp. Between that and her playing in a few other events about the same time where Catamount coaches were watching on, she began to be recruited. But it was that trip to the mountains that won Ashton over. “When I first went, I knew,” she said. “I loved it, everything about it – where it was, the mountains, the coaches and just the atmosphere people presented.”
Most memorable: Sometimes victories can be found within losses. That was the case last season in a loss to West Johnston in which Ashton said the Warriors played particularly close against the Wildcats. “They’d always been on top of the conference, so that was a big deal,” she said. “They mercy ruled us other times.” She has also appreciated the opportunity to be a leader on the team even since her freshman season, and the opportunity to help others improve their game when possible. “It proved it doesn’t matter how new you are or how small you are, you can make a difference,” she said.
Notable: Ashton is the backbone of the Warriors defense. She’s a three-year Greater Neuse River Conference all-academic student athlete and was named all-conference her junior season. She will likely add to those tallies during her senior season this spring. The team captain puts on endurance clinics from start to finish in games and can often be seen taking on midfield-to-offensive assignments as needed. Find the ball, and there’s a good chance you’ll find Ashton.
Compiled by Aaron Moody.