The Gustavus Female Athlete of the Decade tournament has concluded after four weeks of polling. The final round came down to volleyball player Nora Holtan and soccer player Ashley Becker, both of whom were 2019 Gustavus graduates. After a tightly contested 48 hours of final-round voting, Ashley Becker came out on top and was declared the Female Athlete of the Decade.
Ashley Becker played at the goalie position for the Gustavus Women’s Soccer team and earned All-Conference honors four times while playing in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). She also holds the Gustavus Women’s Soccer record for most career saves with 397. Becker is now the goalkeeping coach for the Maple Grove high school varsity boy’s soccer team.
After being named Female Athlete of the Decade, Becker reflected on her time at Gustavus and the people around her who made her accomplishments possible.
Q: What did you enjoy most about being a member of the Gustavus Women’s Soccer team? What role did your coaches and teammates play in your success at Gustavus?
A: I enjoyed being around the team every single day, whether it was out on the pitch, being in the caf all day, or our team bonding activities. My teammates and coaches were always super supportive and helped push each other to reach the next level.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your time on the soccer team? Do you have a proudest accomplishment?
A: My favorite memory is beating St. Thomas in a PK shootout at their home field during the MIAC Playoffs Semifinals to advance to the championship. My proudest accomplishment is probably when our team won the MIAC Playoff Championship, earning a trip to Nationals for the first time since 1998.
Q: What was your reaction to being placed in the running for Female Athlete of the Decade?
A: I’m so honored to have been nominated for and to win this award. All of the athletes nominated are extremely talented and so deserving of this award.
Q: Were you familiar with some of the other athletes in the tournament? Did they positively impact you in any way during your time at Gustavus?
A: I was familiar with a lot of the athletes who were nominated. For the ones I wasn’t familiar with at the time, I was able to learn how impactful they were throughout their athletic career at Gustavus because of this tournament
Q: How did you feel when you were named Female Athlete of the Decade? Is there anyone, in particular, you would like to thank?
A: I am very grateful and honored to have been named Female Athlete of the Decade. Like I said, all of these athletes are so deserving of this award. I would like to thank my parents, coaches, teammates, and every Gustie who has supported me and the women’s soccer program along the way.
Q: How have you applied the lessons you learned during your time as a member of the soccer team to your life now, post-graduation?
A: Now being on the other side of the field as a coach for Maple Grove, I have applied a lot of what I’ve learned from my time as a Gustie soccer player.
Becker was picked as the top female athlete of the past decade after her record setting career as the women’s soccer goalie. Every athlete in the Female Athlete of the Decade tournament made important contributions to their program and the Gustavus Athletics department as a whole.