Terp of the Week: Ashley Spivey
Each week during the 2012-13 season a Maryland student-athlete, who has shown excellence on and off the playing field, will be selected as the Terp of the Week. The inaugural Terp of the Week is women's soccer freshman Ashley Spivey, who scored two goals and added two assists in the Terrapins' wins over George Mason and Towson last week.
By Megan Galvin | Maryland Media Relations Student Assistant
Maryland Obvious Choice For Family Oriented SpiveyFor freshman Ashley Spivey, the Maryland woman's soccer team was the obvious choice. The Sparrows Point, Md., native didn't really consider any other schools because Maryland offered her what she wanted - a chance to play college soccer at the highest level close to home.
Although Spivey doesn't have relatives who attended the university, she grew up a Terrapin fan from living in Maryland. "Once I saw the campus, I fell in love and knew it was the school for me," Spivey said. "Family is extremely important to me, so I knew I wanted to be close to home."
Maryland's College Park, Md., campus offered her the chance to play in front of her friends and family on a regular basis. Not only do her parents attend almost every game, but so do her aunts, uncles, cousins, previous coaches and family friends.
"I have such a large support system at almost every game that it's hard to talk to all of them after the game," Spivey said. "It's nice to have them there in my transition to college."
The change to college life hasn't been completely dramatic for family-oriented Spivey, however. She attended McDonogh School, a Baltimore area school, where she was a boarder. "My dorm room at Maryland is much nicer and I love being able to live with friends," Spivey said. "They're really like my second family."
It also doesn't hurt that freshman midfielder Riley Barger is also on the team. Spivey and Barger grew up playing soccer together and are extremely close.
"Riley definitely helped during the pre-season stress," Spivey said. "Our whole freshman class is like a family. I can really go to anyone on the team."
Her support system seems to be helping her on the field as well. Spivey is only five games deep into her college career, but has already scored two goals and tallied two assists to help the Terps to a 3-1-1 record.
While Spivey had a personal goal going into the season - to be a starter - she would have been happy with any role she could have contributed to her new team. She just wanted to be out on the field starting the first day and contributing.
She accomplished her goal to start immediately. When Maryland suited up at Navy for the season-opener on Aug. 17, her number was circled on the official roster as a starter at defensive center midfielder. Spivey has since moved to her more familiar offensive midfield role, but she is still a starter and is one of just six Terps who have started each of the first five games of the 2012 season.
The transition in play became more apparent after visiting her high school in action without her. Spivey immediately noticed the difference in intensity. "College is much faster," she said.
She was prepared for that intensity change though from playing for the US U18 National team and the Baltimore Bays club team.
On the U18 National team, Spivey competed in U18 World Cup qualifying games. "It was life-changing," she said.
She also had a role model in Ashley Myers, Spivey's Baltimore Bays coach's daughter. Although Myers was not on the team, Spivey and her good friend, Barger, aspired to be like her. From playing on youth national teams to playing collegiate soccer, Myers embodied the player Spivey strived to be.
Myers didn't always attend the Baltimore Bays' practice, after all, she wasn't on the team, but Spivey and Barger would constantly ask their coach when she would be at practice. When she was there, the two players treated her like a celebrity.
That role model gave Spivey the motivation and drive to be the soccer player she is today.
Maryland isn't all soccer, all the time for Spivey, however. Although she has yet to declare an official major, Spivey hopes to be admitted into the business school to study accounting. She would also consider coaching soccer in the future as well.
With her family, friends and teammates' support, it doesn't seem like anything can stop Spivey, both on and off the field, from accomplishing her goals.