Virginia Tech midfielder Ashley Meier started playing soccer at the age of four, when her parents signed her up for a co-ed rec team. Now she is competing around the world for the United States' U20 national team.
The sophomore midfielder from Middleburg Heights, Ohio has loved soccer since she first started playing.
“I was just really young and I absolutely loved it,” Meier said. “I was fast enough, I was quick and I could score goals.”
Soccer is in Meier’s blood, as her father coached her up until high school and her older sister plays for the University of Pittsburgh.
Meier got the attention of the U.S. national soccer pool at an early age. She started out by going to different camps, where a couple of girls were called to move on to other camps. Meier was called back to camp after camp and continued to train hard — by the age of 14 she was called back to the national team and has been playing there ever since.
In high school, Meier excelled as a four-year letterwinner and two-time All-American. Her senior year, she won Ohio’s Ms. Soccer and the State of Ohio Player of the Year.
During middle and high school and Meier also played on the Cleveland Whitecaps club team for six years
Through the national pool, Meier had the chance to meet some of the U.S.’s great female soccer payers. She got to meet Abby Wambach, who is her favorite player, Alex Morgan, Christie Rampone and Megan Rapinoe.
Wambach is Meier’s favorite, but she says her playing style is more like Shannon Boxx, a midfielder for the U.S. national team.
“I want to mimic her style of play, but I also want to have Abby’s dedication and mindset of being such a leader and role model to everyone,” Meier said.
Meier has been able to travel around the world and play in different tournaments due to her status on the national team. She had the chance to play in Japan, and enjoyed it but said there was some culture shock and that her feet hung off the bed.
This March, Meier traveled to Spain with the U20 national team to play in a training camp to prepare for the 2014 World Cup in Canada. The U.S. team went 0-1-2, but Meier enjoyed herself and learned a lot.
“Playing internationally is amazing and I hope everyone gets the chance to do it,” she said. “The biggest thing is when you play international teams — we played Germany, Norway and Sweden — is they have a completely different style of play then the United States. It was just great experience to see how they play.
“We didn’t do as well as we hoped we lost to Germany by quite a bit, but it was a great experience to get the international style of play,” Meier said. “To see the world in general because it was so different from here, but when you come home it’s a good feeling.”
This trip was supposed to help the U.S. team prepare for the World Cup next year. Meier hopes she will have the chance to play in the cup.
“That’s definitely a goal of mine, that’s been a goal ever since I was really young, to play in a World Cup, ” Meier said. “It’s in Canada, so it’s not to far away, but it’s next year so that’s not too far away either. They are trying to formulate a team and get the best players they can. So, if I ever get that chance to be called back in I want to make an impact and play in that for sure.”
Blacksburg is around six hours away from Strongville, Ohio, which is the perfect distance for Meier. She said when she first started looking at schools, distance was one of the most important factors. Playing for the national team, Meier’s parents rarely got to see her games, so she wanted to make sure she was close enough to home for her parent to come to games.
Meier got a lot of different scholarship offers, but once she visited Tech, she knew Blacksburg would be her new home.