By Avery Wenck, Asst. Sports Editor
Junior center midfielder Layla Ashouri has been a staple in a midfield this year, which has been dominant for the Omaha Women’s Soccer team. Ashouri has started in all 11 games for the Mavericks this season and has been incredibly efficient throughout.
Off the pitch, Ashouri is the oldest of four and takes an immense amount of pride in the fact that she is a role model to her siblings, who she clearly takes a lot of motivation from. Her major is broadcasting, and her future plans involve being an on-air talent. Ashouri has a cultured background with her father being Persian and her mother Russian.
She has enjoyed her time in Omaha thus far, and praised the university on its outstanding education:
“I think UNO has quality education. I’m learning a lot in my classes and the professors genuinely care about you succeeding. There are plenty of organizations for you to get involved in and stay busy as well, which is definitely a positive.”
On the pitch, Ashouri has handled herself well in the midfield, and her three years of playing at the University of Nebraska at Omaha have gifted her with great composure on and off the ball. Ashouri has only notched one goal on nine shots this season, but has been efficient with her shooting, which has landed her fourth in the team for shot percentage.
Her play goes far beyond the statistics though, and she is an integral part of the midfield to add an attacking compliment to Marquette Pick’s defensive duties in the center of the park.
“Layla has improved so much, and we’re so happy with how she is playing,” Head Coach Don Klosterman said. “Layla is incredible with the ball at her feet too, so she’s always a dangerous player.”
While the season has been disappointing thus far, Ashouri says the team still has its head up and is looking forward to a new start in conference play.
“Our main goal is to win conference. We need to put away all the games that we’ve played before conference and move on,” Ashouri said. “We are going to go out and play for each other and leave everything out on the field.”
She also bemoaned their away results, and said it was in large part due to the amount of exhausting travelling they’ve had to do this season. The Mavericks have a 0-6-1 record away from home, and have been on the road for every weekend but three since before school started.
They get to end their season with four of their eight conference games at home though, and will look to take advantage of the added motivation of a home crowd.