When Ashlyn Walsh joined the Pelham (N.H.) High School girls soccer program as a freshman in the fall of the 2020 COVID season, the Pythons had barely enough players in the program to field a team -- never mind conjure a dream of one day becoming champions.
Yet, it didn’t take coach Carlos Fuertas long to realize the talent in Walsh and her classmates, and perhaps even more importantly the work ethic and drive that Walsh showed in those first practices, that would lay the groundwork for her to break the school scoring record as a junior and lead the Pythons to the first state title in program history.
"You could just see that she gave it her all," Fuertas told New England Soccer Journal. "When players run the field to start practice they will often cut in at the corners and run in front of the goal. It’s a little thing but Ashlyn always ran around the outside of the flag every time."