The Other Side of Ashley Smyda

Refereeing gives Ashley the ability to stay involved in her passion and give back for the good of the game.

June 4, 2018

Ashely was an official at the Development Academy Showcase in 2016 held in Bradenton, Fla.

Ashley Smyda
Distribution Tech I, Corporate Joint Use
Greensburg Corporate Headquarters

In my spare time: Growing up, I was always involved in soccer. I started playing when I was 4 and played all the way through college with my triplet sisters, Bethany and Christy. After attending California University of Pennsylvania with my sisters, and playing soccer for the school, I continue to stay involved in the game by refereeing. I referee youth games, adult games and Division I to Division III college games across Western Pennsylvania. I’ve traveled throughout the country in the past couple of years refereeing elite tournaments, with my favorite being the Disney Showcase Tournament in Orlando, Fla. I also enjoy mentoring the younger referees and providing them with the same advice I received through the years. Refereeing gives me the ability to stay involved in my passion and give back for the good of the game.

Tell us about a memorable call you had to make during a game. The most memorable call I made was the first – and only –time I have ever given a red card. When a player receives a red card, he or she is sent off for the remainder of that game and the next one as well. It was at a regional tournament a couple of years ago and I was refereeing an under-15 girls’ game. Relatively early on, a defender who was chasing the attacker on a breakaway took out the attacker and denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity. At the time, this was a textbook red card. The part that sticks out in my mind the most was when she was walking off the field, bawling, her teammates told me it was her birthday.

What athletes have inspired you over the years? Growing up, just like many girl soccer players around the world, it was hard not to be inspired by Mia Hamm, arguably one of the best female soccer players to play the game. More recently, I would have to say Marc Andre Fleury because he is able to be positive and smiling regardless of the situations and challenges with which he’s been presented.  

What are you most proud of? My family, but especially my two sisters. Bethany is a teacher and Christy is a nurse.
They are the most selfless people I know and have a passion for helping others.

What advice do you have for fellow employees? Value the relationships and friendships you have and never stop learning. Those are my mottos!


Editor’s Note: Deanna DeWitt, supervisor, Joint Use and Cable Locating, recommended Ashley for this feature.