Ahead of her return to the U.S. women’s national team, former BYU Cougar Ashley Hatch admitted her World Cup roster snub was “quite a shock” during a podcast appearance.

The hosts of the “Hey Spirits” podcast asked Hatch how surprised she was to be left off the national team roster when she was a guest on their Sept. 11 episode.

“It was quite a shock to me just because I was working really, really hard for it,” Hatch said. “You never know for sure so I’m not going to say that I thought for sure that I was going to make the roster. But I just thought I was doing everything that was asked of me in order to make the roster. So when I didn’t get the call, it was probably the hardest gut punch I’ve ever experienced in my life to be honest.”

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Former BYU star Ashley Hatch speaks about USWNT World Cup snub
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How did Ashley Hatch deal with her World Cup roster snub?

To cope with the disappointing World Cup news, Hatch had to learn to shift her focus to her National Women’s Soccer League team, the Washington Spirit, and her teammates, whom she called her family.

She credited her team and fans for their support during that time.

“They really wrapped their arms around me, and all the fans and the Spirit fans and everyone really kind of showed their support, which was also really helpful,” Hatch said during her “Hey Spirits” podcast appearance.

She continued, “The Spirit family definitely helped me through the process and just being able to be around my teammates and to still continue to play soccer was probably the most helpful thing for me and just to shift my focus to that. ... Obviously, my family and my husband played a huge part in picking me up and dusting me off, so I could keep moving forward.”

What did Ashley Hatch learn from the snub?

Hatch decided to turn her disappointment into a learning moment. She chose to reflect on the things she’s most grateful for in her life.

The World Cub snub “gave me an opportunity to kind of step back and reflect on my life and look at the things that really, really matter,” she said. “I have all those things and I’m super grateful for them like my family, my husband, my faith, the Spirit (and that) I still get to play soccer, so just being able to step back and reflect on those things has helped me continue to move forward.”

She said she feels like she did what she had to do to prove she belonged on the World Cup roster as the backup striker and recognizes that it all comes down to the coach. This year, Vlatko Andonovski coached the World Cup team. He resigned after the tournament.

“I feel like I did everything within my power that I could have done to make the roster, and like you said that was kind of my role the last year and a half to be the backup nine (to Alex Morgan),” she said. “I feel like I fulfilled my role to the best of my ability and made the most of the opportunities that I did get. It’s all coach’s opinion at that point. So I could say that I feel like I did enough, but if the coach doesn’t think so, then it wasn’t enough.”

Hatch is part of the Spirit’s leadership group and while the team’s co-captains were away at the World Cup, she stepped up as the team’s captain.

“I think it was definitely a growing moment for me and it was cool to wear the armband for the first time in my professional career,” she said. “It was a really cool opportunity to be the captain for those handful of games while our other captains were gone and it’s something that I think I’ll always remember.”

What was the story behind Ashley Hatch and her husband’s viral video?

The podcast hosts then turned their focus to a viral video that Hatch posted on Instagram last month, which celebrated her husband, Jeff Van Buren, getting a hole-in-one.

The video shows the couple pushing aside Hatch’s Golden Boot trophy, ESPY award and NWSL championship ring to make room for the tiny golf ball to sit at the center of their mantle.

The idea to put the ball in its own case on the mantel was Hatch’s idea. After joking about it for a couple of days, they bought a case on Amazon. Hatch then suggested that they make a funny video about it.

The video blew up online and was even written about in Golf Digest.

When asked how much she knows about the hole-in-one, Hatch said “I know everything about it” with a laugh.

For those wondering, the hole-in-one:

  • Came on a par-3 hole.
  • Went 181 yards.
  • Was hit with an 8-iron.
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During Hatch’s podcast appearance, Van Buren was actually golfing at the same course that he recorded the hole-in-one at. She said he was wondering if he’d hit another one that day, which she doubted.

Since another video wasn’t posted, it can be assumed that Van Buren wasn’t as lucky the second time around.

In addition to talking about the World Cup and golf on the podcast, Hatch admitted that she likes candy corn and is a Swiftie, or fan of Taylor Swift.

Hatch and the national team play South Africa on Thursday in Cincinnati, and on Sunday in Chicago. The U.S. will play in Utah in October.

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