Feb 17, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets Sports EditorRiverton High School senior Marcia Ashdown is taking her soccer abilities to the University of Wyoming.
Ashdown signed a national letter of intent play for the soccer program at UW. The Cowgirls made the signing official on Thursday.
Ashdown has been one of the top goal scorers in Class 4-A soccer.
"It's relaxing to know that I have a place to go," said Marcia Ashdown, who is a three-time Class 4-A all-state selection. "They seem like they are a very good soccer team."
Ashdown became a fan of UW soccer in the fall when the Pokes made it to the championship game of the Mountain West Conference. New Mexico blanked UW 5-0 in the title game.
"After the championship game, I really wanted go there," Ashdown said.
Ashdown is the first player new UW coach Pete Cuadrado has signed to his program.
Cuadrado was hired to UW last month after replacing Danny Sanchez. Sanchez, who is now the head coach at University of Colorado, started the recruiting process with Ashdown.
"Danny has done a great job of recruiting and building this program," Cuadrado said. "There is always something to be said when you are playing at the school that represents your state. A lot of the student athletes want to come and be a Cowgirl or Cowboy." Ashdown is the daughter of Greg and Robyn Ashdown. She also plays basketball for the Wolverines. "I hope that Marcia has a big impact," Cuadrado said. "She has to come in and earn her way just like everybody else. At this level everybody works hard, and that's what she will give us."
Riverton High School coach Rick Bergstedt said Ashdown has all the tools to be a successful college player.
"She has Division I speed, power, strength and size," Bergstedt said. "She has Division I ball-striking ability."
Ashdown wants to go into teaching when her high school career is complete.
"I know that Wyoming has a very good education program," Ashdown said.
"I feel that the school is the best for me."
Ashdown will be heading to a team coming off a record-breaking season. In 2011, UW finished with 12 wins, passing the 2002 Cowgirls for the most single-season wins in school history.
The Pokes had two tournament MWC victories over TCU and San Diego State.
"Wyoming has a great couple of returners," Cuadrado said. "We lost a couple of great players, but we hope to add a couple of players in the spring. I don't expect us to drop off. If everybody stays healthy then we should have a great year."
Cuadrado is the fourth head women's soccer coach in Cowgirl history. He joins UW after spending nine seasons at North Dakota State University.
In 2011, Cuadrado coached NDSU to its most wins in school history (15) and a spot in the Summit League championship game.
"The big attraction to the team is that I didn't have to rebuild," Cuadrado said. "It's already built.
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