Ashley Hackman, the women’s soccer team’s all-time points leader, now helps the organization in more ways than one. The 2009 graduate is back on the turf as an assistant coach after finishing her career with 54 goals and 52 assists.
Hackman’s former teammates will now be listening to her advice as she tries to help each of them become the dominant force that she was at the collegiate level.
“It has been a great experience so far,” Hackman said in an e-mail. “I love the sport and the girls on the team are really making it an enjoyable experience.”
Hackman can often be seen on the field, demonstrating techniques for the team as part of her “hands-on” coaching role.
“Some of these girls are my best friends, so it is strange finding myself in a new type of relationship with them,” Hackman said. “It has still been nothing but a positive experience with each of them.”
After spending four years on the team, Hackman knows the ins and outs of the program.
“I make sure our equipment is where it needs to be on game day, help organize and meet the girls’ needs, and make sure we have everything in order before game time,” Hackman said. “I am also finding I am taking on a sort of ‘team mom’ role which has been surprisingly enjoyable.”
The former two-time All-American is as busy as can be. Hackman takes graduate classes while working another job outside of Eastern.
“I would love to pursue coaching in my future,” Hackman said. “My grad work is in school counseling, so finding myself coaching at a school would not be surprising.”
One word of advice Hackman offers to her peers now is to “play with passion. Leave everything out on the field. Work your butt off.”