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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Saving goals, setting records

By Eliana Ala’ilima-Daley


The Western women’s soccer team continues to rewrite the record books as senior goalkeeper Ashley Homer now owns the Western record for the most consecutive regular season minutes without allowing a goal.

Homer has gone approximately 980 minutes, the equivalent of about 11 games, without allowing a goal to be scored on her. She broke the previous record set by Jaime Arthurs, who set the record from 2009-12 and has been an assistant coach for the Vikings the past five years.

Homer said she had no idea she was near the record mark until after she had already broken it.

“It’s just something that’s cool that happened along the way,” Homer said. “It wasn’t anything I was trying to do, it was just a bonus.”

Team captain senior Sierra Shugarts has played alongside Homer at Western for almost three years, along with several years of club soccer in high school. Shugarts specializes in defense, so she spends a lot of time working with Homer to control other teams’ attacks.

She said she’s seen growth in Homer over their years playing together.

Senior Ashley Homer blocks a crucial goal during a game at Harrington Field. // Photo by Katie Webber.

“She’s stepped up a lot. Being a goalkeeper is hard, and she’s been playing great,” Shugarts said. “She was a huge part of our team’s success last year, and she’s gotten even better this year.”

Homer gave credit to players like Shugarts for her record-setting performance. She said it’s the defense on the team that has made her job as a goalkeeper easier.

“We’ve only given up around 15 shots all year, so there’s not much for me to do back there,” Homer said. “The defense is one of the main reasons why I have that record. I couldn’t do it without them.”

Senior midfielder Emily Webster said having Homer behind her in the goal gives her and the team a sense of security.

“She’s just so reliable. She’s a huge part of our defense, and she’s such a key player in our success,” Webster said. “She’s also vocal and helps organize the defense.”

Though the Vikings lost to Concordia University on Saturday, Oct. 28, Homer’s record is still an accomplishment. It’s among other records the women’s soccer team broke this season, including the all-time Western win streak.

Homer has a few traditions she likes to stick to before game time in order to get her mentally and physically prepared to play.

“I usually work out before games to get my blood flowing,” Homer said. “Then, we listen to music in the locker room and take pregame pictures to get ready for the game.”

Homer’s personal achievement on the field helped the team set its own records throughout the season. The Vikings won a Washington state record of 39 games in a row earlier this season.

Shugarts said along with being a great goalkeeper, Homer’s success can also be attributed to the type of person she is off the field.

“She’s one of my best friends and she can always be seen with a smile on her face,” Shugarts said. “She’s just a really good person and wants the best for everyone.”



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