A readiness to embrace change set Ashley Flynn on her path of excellence.
After Ashley Flynn graduated from Schuylerville High School in 2017, she was eager to begin playing soccer at Paul Smith’s College.
“I was excited. It was going to be different. I’d be with a whole new team and I couldn’t wait for that,” she said.
Flynn’s interest in the outdoors, academic aspirations, and personality made her a good fit for the school.
“I definitely look for hard working players with integrity and who will be coachable,” said Bailey Waterbury, Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Paul Smith’s College.
WELL-POSITIONED TO PLAY ANY POSITION
Now a senior, Flynn’s readiness to fill any open position on the team during her college career made her a standout soccer player.
“I was really, really thankful she stepped-up and filled those positions. At practice she was giving 100 percent and had a good attitude. She’s been a great teammate both on and off the field,” said Waterbury.
From striker, to midfield, defender, and goalkeeper, Flynn’s versatility transformed her into a natural team leader.
“It was tough playing goal because I missed playing in the field but I had to step up and put my best effort into every game anyway,” she said.
EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS
Exposed to leadership activities while in Schuylerville High School’s FFA program, developing these skills during times of change added tremendous value to the team’s experiences this year as well, despite competitive collegiate soccer being cancelled because of COVID concerns.
“She’s really come out of her shell and been a leader on our team. Ashley is one of those people the others girls can look to,” said Waterbury.
This year, the team started out their season with team bonding experiences including hiking, kayaking, and running.
Now, they practice three times a week and compete in weekly scrimmages against the Paul Smith’s men’s soccer team.
Knowing they can never take any day they are together for granted – whether it is for practice or for a game – the Paul Smith’s soccer team is looking forward to playing competitively again next fall, but will miss Flynn’s positive presence on the field.
“I wish Ashley the best and will miss her a lot, we all will,” said Waterbury.
After graduation, Ashley Flynn plans to move out West to become a park ranger. Her advice for other high school students looking to embrace change and compete on the college level is to start early.
“Contact the coaches, arrange for a campus visit and to meet the other players. Then, when you get to college, you’ll already know them and they’ll help you feel welcome,” she said.