The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Ashton Gordon expresses gratitude in her new role

Ashton+Gordon+dribbles+down+the+field+against+Duke+on+Oct.+5%2C+2023+at+Ambrose+Urbanic+Field.
Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
Ashton Gordon dribbles down the field against Duke on Oct. 5, 2023 at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

Pitt women’s soccer had an undoubtedly great run in 2023. Achievements from the program include advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history, ranking No. 6 in the final United Soccer Coaches rankings and ending the season with a 17-6-1, 6-2-1 ACC record. This offseason, one of Pitt women’s soccer’s most impactful athletes in 2023, defender Ashton Gordon, was signed as one of the two full-time assistant head coaches of the program. 

The decision comes after a successful season from Gordon. The defender started in 63 out of 64 games she played as a Panther, which totaled 5,362 playing minutes. She was recognized as one of the Top Drawer Soccer Women’s National Top 100 Midseason players, securing the No. 41 spot.

Gordon is grateful for the opportunity Pitt Athletics granted to her.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity,” Gordon said. “I recognize the nature of the opportunity that I’ve been brought on full staff. It is just the greatest blessing and I’m so thankful and full of gratitude for the opportunity. I’m super excited to impact the program in a different way. It’s the program that I love. Pitt women’s soccer holds a very special place in my heart.” 

Gordon wanted to continue as a member of a program — which she describes as a program that differentiates itself. 

“I think the thing that sets us apart is just how much people love soccer here,” Gordon said. “I think you can see that whenever we play or when you’re around us. It’s the same thing for the coaching staff. Everyone just loves soccer, and we’re kind of bonded as what we call soccer junkies.”

Gordon wants to help build success off of the incredible season the Panthers had last season. Gordon believes if the Panthers stick to the game plan and remain disciplined, they will continue to grow as a program. And that includes bringing in players who will buy into the Panthers’ vision. 

“[We want to continue] to get people that are committed to that vision,” Gordon said, “and share that vision with others. They’ve got to know what they are getting into. That’s the responsibility of the coaching staff, is to get that idea across and have a vision where the team and the program can hit as well.”

Gordon describes what specific contributions she can bring to the program in her new coaching role, drawing from her experiences as a player. 

“One of the biggest things will be building relationships,” Gordon said when asked what she brings to the coaching staff. “Just bridging the gap between player and staff, as a female and being someone who’s closer in age. I think that’s going to be one of the ways I can positively impact the program. Just bringing us all closer.”

Gordon is no stranger to mentorship in soccer. Her father played under Pitt women’s soccer head coach Randy Waldrum. Both of her parents played soccer at the collegiate level at Tulsa. Gordon highlighted the importance of mentorship in soccer. 

“I think mentorship is important,” Gordon said. “The mentors in my life also serve as role models. They’re people I look up to, people who challenge me to look at things in different ways. They’re people who know when I need to be loved, they love me. And when I need to be pushed, they push me.”

The new coach wants to guide the Panthers as both a coach and a mentor.

“I’ve seen the impact that the mentors in my life have had on me,” Gordon said. “I think everyone deserves that opportunity to have a relationship like that.”

Pitt women’s soccer has talented players on its team, and the program will continue to grow in the next coming years. The program has recruitment success, coaching excellence, a competitive conference and a positive team culture that showcases on and off the field. Gordon hopes to add to this culture as she shifts from player to coach.

About the Contributor
Lily Peters, Staff Writer
Lily Peters is a sports staff writer for The Pitt News. She is a part of the College of General Studies class of 2027 and is majoring in Media and Professional Communications. Additionally, she is pursuing a certificate in Television and Broadcast Arts.