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Ashley Hatch talks about Fall Series and USWNT Training Camp

Ashley Hatch forward of Washington Spirit/ JWS

Ashley Hatch is a forward for the Washington Spirit of the NWSL

What were your thoughts on the Fall Series and how your team played? 

It was great to get back out there, and although the format was different it felt like normal. Having a week of practice, preparing for a game, then having another week of practice, and preparing for a game. That was really nice and it felt like it was normal for a little bit, and it was kind of nice to get into that rhythm. I’m a little sad that it’s over. But in regards to how we played as a team, obviously we would have liked to win and score a few more goals. I think overall we’re pretty happy with how we dealt with the unusual circumstances. And I think towards the back end of the fall series, we really started playing well together as a team. We started to really mesh on the field and it was a lot of fun. I wish we could have had another game or two.

You’re heading into national team camp. How did you find out about the call up?

I just got an email notifying me about being invited. It had the camp details and all that jazz. And then after I got the email about 5, 10 minutes later, Richie Burke, our coach, texted me and just congratulated me.

Do you have any personal goals for the camp?

Just to go in there and just play my best. Every camp situation is always an intense environment, because you’re surrounded by such great athletes and soccer players. I’m just focusing on being myself and having fun, but I have fun when I perform well, so performing well is the priority.

Are there any of the veteran names on the list that you’re especially excited to go up against?

I mean, honestly, everyone definitely belongs there, and so I think I’m just excited to be in an even more competitive environment that I’m already in. Obviously it’s going to be fun to play with girls who have been there longer than I have. But I’m pretty excited just to be there.

You have been to a few camps before. With such a young roster, how will your experiences help you do well?

That’s a good question. I think it helps because I know a little bit of what to expect. I’ve had the experience before. It still doesn’t take away from the initial nerves and jitters of training, but I think just having that experience will help me calm those nerves a little bit, and hopefully be able to get into the rhythm of being myself sooner as opposed to halfway through the week.

Are there any younger players that you were especially excited to see make the roster?

Yeah. I mean, obviously Ashley Sanchez, my teammate, I’m super excited for her. I think it will be fun to be there with her. I think she’s super talented, and it’s going to be a great environment for her to push herself and get better. Every camp you go into is an opportunity to become a better player. I’m excited for her. I’m also really excited for Aubrey Bledsoe. She’s not a young player, I think this will be her second camp, but we’ve never been in a camp together before, and I think she is very deserving of it. I’m excited to see her in a more competitive environment, because I think it’ll help her become even better of a keeper than she already is.

This will be your first camp with Vlatko Andonovski. What are your expectations for his coaching style and playing under him? 

I’m excited that I got to go to the ID camp last year, so I got a small glimpse of what he is like as a coach. I think this camp is a lot different than that camp. I think he will have even higher expectations for all of us. I’m excited. He’s a really smart coach, and so is all his coaching staff. I’m excited to hopefully get a lot of feedback on what I can improve on, and what they see with me going forward, and also just learning from them as coaches.

I know when we chatted with you in the past you were very straightforward about your goal of wanting to make the national team. Obviously this camp is one step closer. What would success mean for you in this camp and what are the next steps for reaching your goal?

I feel like success is super hard to define, but obviously there’s other camps in the future. I feel like it would be a sign of success if I was able to get invited to more of those. Or even if I don’t get invited to those, just getting positive feedback that I’m headed in the right direction. Any step in that direction I would be definitely excited about, but I’m also not focusing a ton on that, because I know I need to first take care of business in this camp.