On June 21, it was publicly announced that former BYU Cougars soccer star Ashley Hatch was somewhat surprisingly left off the United States Women’s National Team roster that went on to struggle at the World Cup weeks later.

With the exception of a post she made on Instagram a few days later, Hatch has been publicly quiet about the situation until this week when she made an appearance on the Just Women’s Sports “Snacks” podcast with fellow National Women’s Soccer League pros Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams.

Of getting the call from then-USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski (who resigned after the World Cup failure) saying that she wouldn’t be on the team, Hatch said, “To put it plain and simple, it was really freaking hard.

“Everyone puts a lot of time and effort into accomplishing the goal of making the World Cup roster, and so for the past two and a half to two years, every single ounce of my energy and effort went into making that roster and for it to come down to that final call of Vlatko saying, ‘You’re not going to be a part of our roster,’ my heart definitely sunk.”

Despite that, Hatch added, “But I also in that moment didn’t have any regrets because I knew that I had done everything in my power to put myself in the best position to be chosen and I wasn’t and so it was a harsh reality that I knew I was going to have to live with, but I also didn’t want it to define who I am as a person and as a player.”

Hatch went on to describe what it was like to play in an NWSL game for her Washington Spirit against the Kansas City Current (coincidentally, the team Mewis plays for) on June 20, when she had gotten the call from Andonovski but before it was publicly announced.

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“Stepping on the field for the game against Kansas City was really difficult,” she said. “It almost felt like I was suffering in silence because the whole world didn’t know yet.

“It was a lot, so I actually ended up asking if I could be subbed at halftime, just because I couldn’t. I couldn’t take it, like, emotionally and mentally, but I was proud of myself for trying and taking that step and the Spirit were great helping me, and we won the game.”

Did Hatch watch the USWNT as it wound up with its worst-ever World Cup finish?

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“I went back and forth between, like, ‘I’m not watching anything’ to ‘Oh my gosh, I want to watch,’” she said. “I think the world wants you to be like, ‘I’m not gonna watch any of their games. I’m bitter.’ But the truth of it is like, I was, I still am teammates with every single one of you.”

Regarding that last sentence, the 28 year-old Hatch spoke about what her future might hold as far as playing with the national team is concerned.

“I think the hard part for me is, like, I didn’t get a ton of closure or a specific reason of why I didn’t make it, and so I feel like that’s hard to grasp onto like this one thing that I know I need to do better to be able to make it,” she said.

“It’s hard when you feel like you did everything you were asked to do and then you still don’t make it. It’s like, I’m still going through the process of it becoming a motivator.”

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