This year, sophomore goalkeeper Ashton Conley was a key defensive piece in the Butler women’s soccer team’s best season since 2016. After finishing with a 17-5-2 record and capturing the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) and regional titles, the Lady Grizzlies earned a berth in the national community college tournament in Dayton, FL, losing 2-0 in the second round to Salt Lake Community College.
Conely, a 2nd-year health science major, recorded 21 saves in 10 starts for the Lady Grizzlies this year. In week three, her 5-save game against Northern Oklahoma -Tonkawa College earned her KJCCC goalkeeper of the week honors.
“As a goalkeeper, you’re that last line of defense. You have to be willing to sacrifice your body for the team so that you don’t get scored on,” said Conley.
Despite her recent success, Conley only began playing soccer four years ago when as a sophomore, she joined the Wichita Height’s team. Before this season, she was a dual-sport athlete. She also played small forward for the Heights and Butler women’s basketball teams.
At Heights, Conley was the Class of 2020 valedictorian, graduating with a 4.0-grade point average. She was also a member of the choir, the Falcon Athletic Leadership Team, and a cheerleader.
“In middle school, my grades weren’t great, but when I got to high school, my mom promised to pay my sister and me $30 a semester if we got a 4.0,” said Conley. “I looked up, and it was my junior year, and that’s when it clicked that I’m on track to be valedictorian. After that, I really started to focus on finishing high school with all A’s.”
With a 4.0 GPA so far this semester, Conley is on track to earn Butler College President’s List honors. She earned Dean’s List recognition both of her freshman semesters for maintaining a 3.5 or better GPA.
Upon completing her associate’s degree in the spring, Conley plans to enroll in Wichita State’s dental hygiene program, one of the nation’s top 100 college dental programs. She dreams of educating and inspiring youth to take better care of their oral health, the same way she was inspired as a child.
“ Whenever our middle school had people come clean our teeth, I was always super excited because I didn’t get regular cleanings outside of school until high school,” said Conley. “ I want to be able to give teeth cleanings and provide other resources on better oral health to communities that can’t afford it.”
Outside of being a stellar student-athlete, Conley loves being a resident assistant and “mom” to the freshman girls in her dorm. She enjoys helping the girls matriculate through their first year of college and ensuring they have everything they need to succeed.
Conley’s preferred hobby is watching action and superhero movies. Guardians of the Galaxy Volumes 1 and 2 are her favorites.