As if earning a trip to the Olympics isn’t hard enough, former BYU Cougar Ashley Hatch may have new competition in her pursuit of a Olympic roster spot.
In the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s scoreless draw with Colombia Thursday in Sandy, Hatch came on in the 67th minute as a substitute for the team’s starting striker, Alex Morgan.
While Hatch didn’t score, she came close in the 74th minute.
Ashley Hatch comes so close to breaking the deadlock 😲
Watch USA vs. Colombia live on TBS or Max 📺 pic.twitter.com/k3Tos5o3U9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 27, 2023
But in the team’s game Sunday in San Diego, Hatch didn’t have a chance to play, let alone try scoring. She wasn’t active for the match, meaning she wasn’t even available as a substitute.
When interim head coach Twila Kilgore decided to take Morgan out of Sunday’s game to start the second half, national team newcomer Mia Fishel entered the match instead of Hatch.
Despite it only being her second appearance for the national team, Fishel got to work fast. Within 11 minutes of entering the game, Fishel scored the match’s first goal.
— Chelsea Women Daily (@CFCWdaily) October 30, 2023
When ESPN’s Caitlin Murray released her Olympic roster predictions earlier this month, she had Hatch listed as an “on the bubble” player with Sophia Smith as the striker and Alex Morgan as “in the squad.”
In Murray’s list, Fishel and 18-year-old Jaedyn Shaw joined Hatch on the “on the bubble” list. Both made the most of their opportunities Sunday and scored.
Sunday was Shaw’s first national team appearance and goal. Those landmarks came in her club team’s home stadium.
What has Ashley Hatch said about making the 2024 Olympics roster?
Hatch was hopeful about how a new national team coach would affect her 2024 Olympic chances when speaking with reporters the week before the U.S. women’s national team’s Sandy match, as the Deseret News previously reported.
“I think having a new coach come in is huge,” she said. “I obviously wasn’t selected by the last one, so it gives me kind of a little bit of a renewed sense of hope that maybe this one will want me as part of the roster. But also, I understand that like there’s a lot of work that has to go in on my end to prove myself to whoever is the new coach.
“It’s definitely a process that all of us players continue to go through year after year. I’m always going to be hopeful. That’s just the type of person I am, so we’ll see.”
Who is Mia Fishel?
Fishel is a 22-year-old forward from San Diego. She made her national team debut on Sept. 24, according to U.S. Soccer.
Utah and BYU soccer fans may recognize Fishel. She played three seasons with UCLA before she was drafted fifth overall in the 2022 NWSL draft by the Orlando Pride.
Reportedly unhappy about her selection by the Pride, Fishel decided to play in the Liga MX Femenil and signed with the Tigres.
“I wasn’t expecting to be here a couple of months ago, but with the whole NWSL draft, I felt like I wanted to take control of my own destiny and where I want to play, and with the draft, you just can’t do that,” she told GOAL.
In August, she left the Tigres and signed a three-year contract with Chelsea, per the English club’s announcement.