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‘My faith is why I play’: What goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury said about prayer on Ashley Hatch’s podcast

United States' Aubrey Kingsbury participates in a women's international friendly soccer match between the United States and China, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Frisco, Texas.
United States' Aubrey Kingsbury participates in a women's international friendly soccer match between the United States and China, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. | Julio Cortez

Aubrey Kingsbury is one of the top goalkeepers in the U.S. She says she wouldn’t be where she is today without her faith.

Kingsbury, who is Christian, was a guest on her Washington Spirit teammate Ashley Hatch’s podcast, “The Ditto Podcast,” this week. The two teammates discussed how faith plays a pivotal role in Kingsbury’s career.

“Sports is kind of the avenue by which we glorify God,” Kingsbury said.

What Aubrey Kingsbury said about her faith

Kingsbury, who is also a goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team and who is competing for an Olympic roster spot, acknowledged God’s hand in her life and credited him for where’s she at in her career.

“I see my job as a calling. I believe the Lord has kind of put me exactly where I am with the Washington Spirit and has orchestrated all my steps to lead me here, and so just knowing that, it’s super freeing,” she said during the podcast. “Yes, I work hard. I give my best every day. But ultimately, I know that he’s kind of the one who produces, you know, the fruit, I’ll say, and that he’s got a plan for me regardless of what I do. Like I can’t ultimately mess it up because he’s the one in control, not me, so that makes everything a lot more freeing.”

Her faith helps take the pressure off of her, she said, especially in regards to how long her playing career lasts.

She said her faith is also the reason she plays soccer.

“My faith is why I play, so for me, (soccer is) kind of a mission field in a sense,” she said. “I get to love my teammates, I get to serve those around me and just make the most of where the Lord has put me this particular time.”

What Aubrey Kingsbury said about prayer

Prayer is a big part of Kingsbury’s life, whether it come in the form of meditation or self-talk.

“I think for Christians, a lot of meditation is kind of a blurred line with prayer, or even my self-talk — it’s less of self-talk and more of talking to God, for me. Or just if I’m in the midst of a training or a game and frustrated with myself, just kind of releasing it to Him and just asking for strength or peace or focus, whatever it may be that I need,” she said. “For me, it’s great to know that I’m not looking to myself, like there is a source that is greater than me, that sustains me and guides me.”

She told Hatch that she uses prayer to call upon God and ask for help in her life on and off the pitch.

“I have the spirit living within me,” she said. “I know that I can’t do anything on my own, that I need help, and so it’s great to be able to pray and ask for more of the fruits of the Spirit or more of any of the promises that the Lord says He’ll give us.”

What Ashley Hatch said about Aubrey Kingsbury’s faithful example

The Washington Spirit have “a strong group of believers on the team, so it’s nice to feel not alone,” Kingsbury said.

Hatch, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is one of those believers. During the podcast, she thanked Kingsbury for her example of prioritizing her faith.

“Aubrey is great at helping us organize team Bible study and pregame prayer with our chaplains, so we’re super grateful to Aubs and the example she is, but also her willingness to help us all get together and to organize us, because it is really important,” Hatch said. “I think it’s really cool to connect with other teammates who have similar beliefs and just to help remind us that there’s more to life than just soccer because it can consume our lives.”

Hatch has noticed how intentional Kingsbury is when it comes to her faith and her relationship with God and called it an honor to be her teammate.

“As you can tell, all the preparation that Aubrey puts in day in, day out, if she wasn’t intentional about her relationship with God, I feel like that relationship would struggle, and I think it’s very clear to all those around her that she just has this light about her and this faith,” Hatch said. “It’s an honor to be your teammate really, and it’s fun to see and to have you as an example.”

Kingsbury and Hatch will travel to Utah this weekend to play the Utah Royals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.