Ashley Hatch opened up about how she drew comfort from her faith after this summer’s World Cup roster snub while appearing on a recent episode of the “All In” podcast.

The disappointment following the roster news gave her an opportunity to “lean into” her faith and reflect on the things that really matter in life.

“It’s an opportunity to either lean into your faith, lean into your testimony, or it’s an opportunity to lean away or push it away,” she said.

Here are six takeaways from her podcast appearance:

1. Using faith to move past disappointment

Heartbroken after learning she she didn’t make the roster, she knew she needed strength from a divine source, so she turned to prayer and her faith in God.

“I just felt like I didn’t have it in me to keep going with what I had. I need strength from someone way more powerful than me, and that was obviously my Heavenly Father,” she said.

The roster announcement came in the middle of the National Women’s Soccer League season, so Hatch couldn’t hide to process her feelings. On the podcast, she shared some of the prayers she remembers saying while dealing with that disappointment and hurt.

“When I knelt down to say my prayers at night and in the morning, I was just kind of like ‘I’m really lost. Please help me. I don’t feel like I have what it takes. I’ve given everything I have to this sport and specifically making this roster. Please just give me strength. I’m so grateful for everything I have. This is one thing I really wanted. It obviously didn’t happen. Please help me to move forward. I don’t know what that looks like, but I know that I can do it with your help,’” she said.

2. Leaning on faith to deal with loneliness

As a professional athlete, Hatch spends a lot of time traveling, especially when she adds national team responsibilities to her club team duties. She often misses holidays and has to be away from her husband.

“It takes a toll on you,” she said. “But being able to have my testimony and the gospel and the love Heavenly Father has for me, is something I lean into often and I remind myself of often, especially on those nights where I am feeling lonely. And I think just being able to have that knowledge is what carries me through the hard times.”

Ashley Hatch named to USWNT December roster, Alex Morgan left off
The new USWNT coach has been named. What does it mean for Ashley Hatch’s Olympic chances?

3. Seeking guidance through prayer

Hatch turns to prayer when making big decisions like marrying her husband, signing a new contract and entering the NWSL draft in 2017, she said.

“My process is: I’m always praying about it. Even if it’s like I know I have to make this decision in like two months, I’m gonna pray about it now, and I’m going to get as much information as possible about this decision, so that I have all the information to make the right decision but I’m also going to lean on what inspiration and feelings I get while going through this process of making the decision,” she said.

4. Blessings of marriage

Hatch met her husband, Jeff Van Buren, while at BYU, and after a couple years of friendship and dating, they married in 2019. She said marriage has blessed her “tremendously” and that she often tells her husband that “I know I wouldn’t be playing professional soccer to this day if we hadn’t been married.”

“As a couple, we’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices, and mostly on his end,” she said. “My life has kind of led us to live across the country from our families, but he’s been nothing but supportive, like never once has complained or kind of been like ‘when’s it my turn to choose where we get to live?’ So he plays a huge role and I just appreciate and love him so much. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for him and all his love and support.”

Q&A: How Ashley Hatch prioritizes faith while chasing World Cup dreams

5. Sharing the peace of the gospel

In the spring of 2022, Hatch was on the sports and cultural committee for the Washington D.C. Temple open house and invited her teammates to attend.

She went through the temple beforehand to prepare to answer any questions her teammates might have. She focused on the architecture and what she thought they’d be interested in. But she was surprised when her teammates asked lots of questions about what happens in the temple, which is what she said really matters.

“I felt so vulnerable because I was like ‘Wow this is a really big part of my life and a really big reason why I am the way I am and why I choose to live the way I live,’ and I was sharing this with my teammates and I don’t know what they’re going to think about me or what they’ll think about this,” she said.

She knew one of her teammates, Julia Roddar, and her husband felt the spirit while there even though they weren’t native-English speakers and couldn’t understand everything that was being said.

Roddar told Hatch that “It was so quiet (in the celestial room) that it was loud” and that she felt a peace that she had never felt before.

Two weeks later, Roddar, a defender, made a game-winning shot in a penalty shootout. She told Hatch afterward that she was so nervous and that she knew she needed help from a higher power, so she revisited the feelings she had while visiting the temple, which calmed her down and helped her make that shot.

6. Processing the World Cup disappointment has changed her Olympics mindset

In May, Hatch told the Deseret News that if she didn’t make the World Cup roster, she would turn her attention to earning an Olympic roster spot. Podcast host Morgan Pearson asked if that was still her focus and what that opportunity would mean to her.

“That opportunity would mean a lot, but going through what I’ve went through, I’m approaching it a little differently,” she said. “I understand that if I got the opportunity to play for (the) U.S. in the Olympics, I would cherish that so much, and I would be so excited and so honored. But I also know that if that opportunity doesn’t come my way, that I still have lots to offer the sport of soccer and that I have so much more value than that.”

Hatch will have to prove to a new national team head coach, Emma Hayes, that she deserves one of the 22 roster spots.

“Essentially, it’s going to be a harder roster to make because the roster size is smaller,” she said. “There’s so many things outside of my control, but my focus is putting myself in the best position to get named to that roster, so I’m going to continue to put in the work every day to become the best player that I can be.”