Days after she was left off the United States World Cup team that will compete later this summer in Australia and New Zealand, former BYU Cougars soccer star Ashley Hatch wrote an emotional post on Instagram expressing her feelings over the decision.

“I’m gutted,” she began. “I think I’ve felt almost every adjective there is to explain how I feel about not making this world cup roster. Heartbroken, devastated, disappointed, gutted, confused, get the picture.

“I am still in the process of navigating all these feelings and emotions and trying to comprehend it all while still performing and playing games for the (Washington) Spirit (her National Women’s Soccer League club). And it is hard.”

The next sentiment from Hatch was one of gratitude, however, as she thanked those who have supported her.

“But the one thing I want to recognize is the overwhelming amount of love and support I have received from family, friends, coaches, teammates and strangers alike. THANK YOU,” she wrote.

“This has given me the strength to continue to move forward even when it hurts. I could not be more grateful for the people who have surrounded me with love and understanding, and for the Spirit organization for helping me navigate this stage of my career.”

Hatch concluded her post by writing, “There are alot of things I don’t know and a lot of pain and disappointment I am still working through but the one thing I do know is I love this game, I love playing it, and I can’t wait to continue to take the field this summer with my Spirit teammates and continue to improve as a player and as a person.

“So cheers to this crazy thing called life, and all that comes with it, the lessons to be learned in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.”

Former BYU star Ashley Hatch left off United States World Cup roster
Q&A: How Ashley Hatch prioritizes faith while chasing World Cup dreams

Last Thursday, the day after the team was announced, Spirit head coach Mark Parsons was asked by Pro Soccer Wire’s Jason Anderson about how the organization is supporting Hatch during this time.

“Devastating news to receive, especially when you’re a player who embodies the values and the beliefs of probably any possible team, that cares about putting the team first,” Parsons said.

“It would be very hard to find a better human being or a better human being in sport or a team environment than Hatch, and yeah of course we’re all hurting, but no one’s hurting more than her.”

Parsons went on to say that Hatch is “doing what everyone thought she would, which was think about the team and think about how she can help, and how she can support.

“We’re trying desperately to make sure we keep an eye on her individually and convince her to think of herself, but that’s impossible. She’s team-first, and that’s what makes this harder. Every team needs people like her. Successful, winning teams, all the big studies show you need players like Ashley Hatch in your team.”

Parsons said that Hatch is “managing as well as she can” and reiterated, “From my perspective, I just wanted to share that she’s been the person we all know she is, which is team-first, and in the moment of needing to probably think about yourself, she’s still living to the true values she has, which is just thinking about other people.”

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Parsons continued that the Spirit organization is behind Hatch and “that’s probably my biggest responsibility, is make sure we protect her from herself, because she’s just the best human being you can imagine in a team environment, and gotta protect her from being too team-first and make sure we keep her in an OK place and then get her to a better place, and we’re working on that.”

In the Spirit’s lone match so far since the World Cup team announcement, Hatch scored a goal last Friday in a 4-2 loss to the Portland Thorns.

The goal was Hatch’s seventh on the season, marking the fifth time she has reached that number in her career.

That put her in elite company, as Thorns and Canada legend Christine Sinclair and Lynn Williams of Gotham FC (who was named to the United States World Cup team) are the only others who have done that in NWSL history.

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