After winning an NWSL championship and taking home individual accolades with her club team, Ashley Hatch was called into the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) camp for the pair of friendly matches against Australia to close out the year.
Despite being capped twice with the national team previously, this was the former BYU star’s first call-up since 2018.
Having a chance to prove herself among a team mixed with national team veterans and first-timers, Hatch shined on the big stage and in the process showed why she should be considered a national team regular.
In her first-ever start for the US, she scored her first-ever goal in a national team jersey.
Just 24 seconds (yes, you read that correctly) into Friday’s match, Hatch delivered the opening goal off a headed pass from Lynn Williams, jumpstarting a 3-0 US win over Australia.
.@ash_hatch33 wastes no time whatsoever
1-0, USA 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/eQ3g8uAiH1
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) November 27, 2021
She received another start in the rematch early Tuesday morning (at least here in Utah it was), scoring the opener in the fourth minute.
Lynn Williams was again involved in the goal, finding an in stride Midge Purce down the right side of the pitch. Purce then laid the ball perfectly into the patch of an in rhythm Ashley Hatch, who fired the ball towards the far post and into the back of the net.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) November 30, 2021
The match ended in a 1-1 draw, concluding the national team’s 2021 schedule.
Finally getting a chance to play under a new coach, Hatch delivered two goals in two matches, which is as good as anyone could have asked for.
After playing so well in the final camp of 2021, has she earned a spot on future rosters for the national team?
It will be tough with the US always stacked at the forward position, but the retirement of Carli Lloyd, the uncertain future of Megan Rapinoe, and Christen Press taking time away from the game to focus on her mental health, this is a perfect opportunity for Hatch to step up and earn a more permanent spot with the national team.
After how she played in 2021, she seems more than ready for the challenge.