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Julia Ashley

Sport: Soccer

Born: November 11, 1996

Town: Verona

Julia Ashley was born November 11, 1996 in Verona. A quick and powerful youth soccer star, Julia honed her game at the MatchFit Academy and earned a reputation as the state’s top defender. Julia played one year of soccer for Verona High School, but ran track all four years. She recorded the fastest mile in the nation among freshman in 2012. She later set school records in the 400 and 800 meters. Also in 2012, she captained the New Jersey Olympic Development soccer team to the national championship.

Julia was a prime recruiting target of the top college track and soccer programs. She turned down a track scholarship to Duke and accepted a soccer scholarship to UNC in 2015 and was named a Freshman All-American her first year, and earned All-ACC recognition as a junior and senior. The Tar Heels made it to the NCAA title game in 2017 but lost to Florida State. As a senior in 2018, Julia scored 5 goals and had a team-leading 10 assists as the Tar Heels returned to the NCAA championship game. This time they lost to Stanford in a shootout. Julia had turned down a scholarship from Stanford to attend UNC.

After the 2018 season, Julia signed with a Swedish club and made her pro debut in early 2019. She struggled with injuries and left the club to play for Adelaide United in Australia, where she competed injury-free. In between these two stints, she was selected by Sky Blue FC in the first round of the National Women’s Soccer League draft. Reports of poor treatment of the team’s players prompted Julia to request a trade. Sky Blue accommodated her, completing a trade with OL Reign in Tacoma in early 2020.


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