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Rob Potter | Democrat

Sullivan West senior Ashley Mahoney, center, looks down at her letter of intent to play soccer at Barton College during Friday afternoon’s ceremony in the SW High School library. Pictured with Ashley are her proud parents, Mike Mahoney, left, and Mary Mahoney.

SW’s Ashley Mahoney will play soccer at Barton College in North Carolina

By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON — May 18, 2010 — Sullivan West senior Ashley Mahoney will be continuing her soccer career in college.
During a ceremony on Friday afternoon in the SW High School library, Mahoney, who was a starter for the SW Lady Bulldogs varsity soccer team the last two seasons, signed a letter of intent to accept an athletic scholarship to Barton College in Wilson, N.C.
Barton College is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II school which plays in Conference Carolinas. Ashley Mahoney’s older sister, Dara, played soccer at St. Andrew’s College in Laurinburg, N.C., which is also a member of Conference Carolinas.
Ashley Mahoney will receive a Presidential Scholarship, which is the highest scholarship Barton College awards to its students. The scholarship will cover about 90 percent of the total cost for Mahoney to attend the college for the next four years.
After signing the letter of intent, Ashley hugged her mother, Mary, and father, Mike, who were seated next to her at the table in the library.
“This is an important accomplishment in Ashley’s life,” Mike Mahoney said. “All of you here today have been very important in helping her reach this goal. As her father and more importantly as her coach, I am very proud of her. She was also recruited by two Division I schools and a Division III school.”
The people Mike Mahoney made reference to included SW Athletic Director Dave Franskevicz, Assistant High School Principal Scott Haberli, Guidance Counselor Dan Welton and English teachers Marianne Hegge and Dorothy Westreich.
Franskevicz congratulated Ashley Mahoney on behalf of everyone in the SW athletic program.
Mike Mahoney coached Ashley for her two years with the SW junior varsity girls’ soccer team and for three years with the Liberty United club soccer team. He currently coaches her on a soccer team at the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center in Callicoon, which plays in a co-ed league against teams from other Job Corps Centers.
“Ashley has earned the respect of her teammates as well as the players on other teams,” Mike Mahoney said of his daughter playing in the co-ed league. “Her teammates respect her enough that they don’t let her put herself in dangerous situations on the field.”
Naturally, Ashley Mahoney is thrilled to have the opportunity to play college soccer.
“This has been one of my dreams for as long as I can remember,” she said. “Most kids go to sleep after being read a bedtime story, but I remember falling asleep to the sounds of [University of North Carolina women’s soccer Coach] Anson Dorrance talking about strategy.”
She noted that her original plan was to attend an Ivy League school such as Yale University. But the high cost of tuition at Ivy League schools and the nation’s poor economy forced her to look in a different direction.
“It’s great,” she said of playing soccer at Barton College. “I will still be a Bulldog.”
She noted that like at SW, the athletic teams at Barton are known as the Bulldogs. And the Barton uniform colors of blue and white are similar to SW’s blue and silver.
Mahoney plans to major in English literature and minor in pre-law. She noted that Hegge, who was her English teacher in 10th grade, and Westreich, who is her Advanced Placement (AP) English teacher this school year, have both been positive influences on her.
Mike Mahoney explained that Barton College plays a 3-5-2 formation, which consists of three defenders, five midfielders and two strikers.
“Ashley was a midfielder for Sullivan West and Liberty United,” he said. “She has the skills and abilities to allow her to be an inside midfielder. She will play what Barton calls an attacking midfielder.”
Mike Mahoney is certain Ashley will do very well at Barton.
“I am so glad for her,” he said. “It is a good situation. She fell in love with the place when she went down there for a visit.”
And Mike Mahoney noted that Barton Coach Mike Michalakis told him that Ashley “is a wonderful young girl who will help us academically and athletically.”

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