Women's Soccer |
Oct. 25, 2010
By Garrett Sabelhaus
Ashley Daniels was supposed to be the starting goalkeeper for the University of Cincinnati women's soccer team.
The sophomore from Cincinnati had won the job over redshirt junior Rachel Barnette, but when Daniels came to into summer camp with a stress fracture in her foot, Barnette took the job.
By September, Daniels was back in net after Barnette struggled in goal while playing through her own injuries.
"At the end of the day when it came to the Notre Dame game and the West Virginia game, Ashley was just outperforming (Rachel)," said UC head coach Michelle Salmon. "For our team and for us, in the direction we're going as a program, it benefited us to make that switch."
Barnette allowed four goals to Notre Dame on September 24th in just over 63 minutes. Daniels came in in relief and shutout the Irish for the final 26 minutes in a 4-0 loss.
Then, two games later; she allowed three goals to West Virginia in the first half. Daniels entered the game and allowed a goal to the Mountaineers, but then started every game from that point on.
"Ashley won the job legitimately and obviously had the setback with her stress fracture," Salmon said. "At the end of the day, coming out of the West Virginia game, I really felt Ash gave us the best chance to win."
Daniels said she was excited and a bit nervous about making her first start and that there were no hard feelings between her and Barnette over taking back the starting job.
"The great thing about Rachel and I is that we're so close," Daniels said. "The relationship that she and I have surpasses soccer. She will always have my back when I go in or when I mess up and I'll always have her back."
In her first game as starter, Daniels allowed just one goal to Pittsburgh in a 2-1 win snapping a three-game losing streak.
Not all games would go as well as the first though. Daniels allowed four goals in a road loss to Marquette before being pulled for the final nine minutes.
Daniels knows how quickly things can change and how she has to keep working hard to maintain her starting role.
"Nothing is ever a permanent change," Daniels said. "You have to work hard and I just kept working hard so I know that I can keep that position but nothing's ever set in stone."
Daniels can rest easy knowing her coach has a lot of confidence in her. With such a young team, Salmon said it is important to have an experienced goalkeeper for the years to come.
"Ashley has the potential to be the best keeper in the BIG EAST and one of the top keepers in the country," Salmon said. "When she's on there's nobody better."