A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Springdale’s Ashley Ross

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Monday, November 27, 2023 | 10:24 AM


Ashley Ross was disappointed not to play with her teammates in the final game of the year.

She suffered an ankle injury in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs and was unable to go for the team’s quarterfinal match against rival Riverview.

“She was a huge loss with the energy she brings from her midfield position,” Springdale coach Marc Bentley said. “She’s a player that can score you a goal and make an assist. I know she was devastated not to play.”

Said Ashley: “It was upsetting. It was going to be our last game playing, and I won’t be able to play with some of these girls again, especially my sister.”

Ashley and her sister Briana had formed quite a tandem for the Dynamos. Briana scored 51 goals on the year, and Ashley assisted on almost every goal.

“We have been playing together for a really long time, so we kind of know how each other plays,” Ashley said. “Because I know her strengths, I know how she would want the ball at her feet or if she would rather run onto it so she could get a goal. She does a better job scoring than I could, so it was easy to assist her.”

Said Bentley: “It was incredible to watch them play together for the last three years. They’re both fantastic players and have a real connection as well.”

The Dynamos (16-4, 9-3) finished third in Section 1-A and were the No. 6 seed in the WPIAL playoffs, where they lost to Freedom in the semifinals but beat South Allegheny, 7-0, in the third-place match.

“It wasn’t what we wanted,” Ashley said. “We wanted to get to Highmark Stadium and get a second chance at finishing as champions. Third place is good, though.”

Ashley took a few minutes for a Senior Spotlight Q-and-A:

Springdale played Riverview twice this year and lost both times but played them tighter in the second game. Did you feel like there was a chance you could beat them in that third game?

We were more confident going into that game. Because we had played them twice already, we knew some of their strengths and were more mentally prepared.

Being a two-year captain, what was it like growing into that leadership role?

In past years, like my freshman year, we might not have had one of the best captains, so I’d rather grow into something where the team is happy to come to practice and not feel like it’s a chore. I wanted it to be like a good setting where we could all be close and could have more fun.

How is the ankle recovery coming along?

It’s good. I’m in a walking boot for the next four weeks, until I get an X-ray done. The swelling’s down. I just need to stay off it for a little while longer.

What would you say is your greatest strength?

Anticipation. I also think communicating with others and getting them to my same level of thinking.

Any hobbies?

I love to read and go on hikes with my family. I also love playing futsal with my sister and our friends.

What has been your fondest high school memory so far?

Playing with some of my friends at Highmark Stadium. Another would be when we played against Greensburg Central Catholic my sophomore year. It was our first time beating them in years, and I scored two goals with some of my friends on the other team watching.

What are your plans for college?

I haven’t committed anywhere yet. I’m stuck between Clarion and Thiel College. I’ve been talking to the soccer coaches at both schools. I want to study exercise science.

What is one fact people would be surprised to know about you?

At first glance, people will think I’m shy and I won’t talk much or I won’t really speak my mind. If you see me on the soccer field, I’m loud.

What is one piece of advice you would want to leave your teammates before graduating?

Live in the moment and do what you love to do. Don’t focus on what others are telling you to do. Focus on yourself.

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