Latter-day Saint soccer star Ashley Hatch discusses a faith-promoting moment from the life of Christ on the popular Instagram account “Come Follow Me App.” On the same day her Instagram video was posted, Hatch scored the game-winning goal for the Washington Spirit.
(Instagram screen grab)
Team USA’s Ashley Hatch shares a favorite ‘Come, Follow Me’ moment — then drills a decisive goal
Former BYU soccer star continues seeking opportunities to share her gospel testimony even while competing at her sport’s highest levels.
By Jason Swensen
16 Apr 2023
April 15th marked a memorable Saturday for Latter-day Saint soccer star Ashley Hatch.
She ended the day scoring the game-winning goal for the NWSL’s Washington Spirit in their 2-1 victory over the North Carolina Courage.
In her “Come, Follow Me” message recorded in her Fairfax, Virginia, home, Hatch revisits the scene captured in the ninth chapter of Mark. Jesus Christ is surrounded by a large crowd of people. One in the multitude steps forward, telling the Savior that he has brought Him his son “which hath a dumb spirit” since childhood.
Christ then invites the man to bring his son forward. The son falls to the ground in front of the Savior, wallowing and foaming. The father pleads with Christ to help his tormented son.
Jesus responds, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24).
Christ then casts out the spirit out of the child, who was made whole.
In her analysis of the New Testament verses, Hatch observed that the father “shows a lot of courage, bravery and humility to come to the Savior” and asking the Lord to help his son.
The father’s faithful actions, she added, revealed that he “has a lot more ‘belief’ than he originally thinks that he does.
His decision to approach the Savior and ask Him to heal his son reveals that he is a believer.
Game-winning penalty kick for the Spirit
Early in the second half of Washington's Saturday night game against North Carolina, Hatch was taken down in the penalty box by an opponent and awarded a penalty kick.
With the game tied 1-1, Hatch drove her penalty kick into the upper right corner of the goal for what would be the deciding score of the match. It also marked Hatch’s 40th career goal in the NWSL.
The Gilbert, Arizona, native continues to make her push for inclusion on the United States women’s national team for the upcoming fast-approaching 2023 World Cup.
Even while excelling in soccer’s elite circles, Hatch remains an ambassador for the Church.
Last year, she hosted several of her club teammates and friends on a tour of the Washington D.C. Temple prior to the temple’s rededication.
“It was such a wonderful experience to be able to share such a huge part of my life with others,” she wrote on her Instagram page. “I’d love to encourage all who live in the [Washington metropolitan] area to visit the temple open house if you have the opportunity.
“Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints brings me so much joy and is a huge blessing in my life.”