Former BYU star Ashley Hatch and the Washington Spirit travel to Utah to take on the Utah Royals on Saturday.

The Spirit are third in the NWSL’s standings this season, while the expansion club Royals are sitting in last place at this point in their first season. There’s over half the season still to go.

Saturday’s game will be Hatch’s first NWSL match in Utah since the first iteration of the Royals relocated to Kansas City after the 2020 season. She last played at America First Field in October with the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

“I was really excited to hear the return of the Royals. Mostly because when we come and play them, I can have a lot of family and friends to come and visit, and I love playing in Utah,” Hatch said in October.

Hatch will face fellow former BYU Cougars Mikayla Cluff, Cam Tucker and Brecken Mozingo, as well as her former teammate Michele Vasconcelos.

Both Hatch and Vasconcelos were drafted in the 2017 NWSL draft. Hatch was picked second overall, and Vasconcelos was picked 11th overall. Hatch went on to win rookie of the year after scoring seven goals, and Vasconcelos sat out her first season due to pregnancy.

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Saturday will also be a homecoming for Spirit rookie Courtney Brown, who grew up in West Haven, Utah. The Spirit drafted Brown in the fourth round of this year’s NWSL draft.

“It’s going to be so special to have my family there in the stadium at Utah. I played a high school championship match (for Fremont High School) on that field my sophomore year, so I’m excited to get back on the field and hopefully get a win,” Brown said in a video shared by the Spirit on X, formerly known as Twitter.

What Ashley Hatch said about the Royals and the NWSL’s return to Utah

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Hatch told the Deseret News in April that she’s excited that professional women’s soccer has returned to Utah. She was out with an injury when the Royals traveled to Washington in March.

“It’s super exciting. It was fun even though I wasn’t able to actually play against them but it was fun to see them come here. I was able to talk to several of them after the game, and I’m obviously really excited to go there to Utah. I think it’s a great market. I think the youth soccer community is really excited to have the Royals back and I’m excited for them to continue to grow as a club and as a community, so I’m just overall excited,” she said.

Ashley Hatch on her career, her Olympic aspirations and her faith
Ashley Hatch on her time with the Washington Spirit and life in D.C.

How to watch Ashley Hatch, the Spirit play the Utah Royals

The match between the Spirit and Royals kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MDT on Saturday at America First Field in Sandy.

Tickets start at just $17 on SeatGeek. Fans can watch the match at home on KMYU or the NWSL’s free streaming service, NWSL+.

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