Lynchburg, Va. -- Someone out there was humming a tune.
On the soccer pitch.
And then there were the sound effects, for lack of a better term. The sound of joy.
It was Ashley Hoath, dribbling up the field through traffic, playing a through-ball.
"It was the strangest thing," Lynchburg's head women's soccer coach Dr. Todd Olsen recalled.
But that was Hoath in a nutshell: Immersed in the joy of the sport.
"She just loved to play soccer, loved to compete," Olsen said.
A stalwart at center midfield for Lynchburg as the Hornets program emerged on the national stage, Hoath was a two-time All-American and helped LC to a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles and three NCAA Division III tournaments, including the program's first-ever national semifinal appearance in 2009.
She will be inducted into the Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame as part of this weekend's Homecoming festivities.
Hoath also wound up being one of the best recruiters Lynchburg ever had. Two younger sisters -- Beverly, class of 2012, and Shelly, class of 2013 -- followed Ashley to Lynchburg, as did several of the Northern Virginia native's club teammates.
"Everyone wanted to play with Ashley," Olsen said. "She was just a great, unselfish player, and she is a great, unselfish human."
Hoath and her cohort accomplished, the coach added, one of the toughest feats in college athletics. After years of progress in the right direction, Lynchburg finally reached the level of continued success Olsen had fought for in the early 2000s; Hoath and company helped the Hornets stay on the national stage.
"It's really hard to sustain that level of success," he said, but Lynchburg did, in large part because of players like Hoath.
She finished her career on several of Lynchburg's offensive leaderboards, and she remains 13th all-time in career points (101), 14th in goals (41), and one of just eight players to record four or more hat tricks in a career.
Many of those goals, Olsen added, came in the biggest moments.
"She didn't let the stage bother her," Olsen said.
Hoath tallied eight goals and two assists in her postseason career and four goals and two assists in the 2009 postseason alone, helping Lynchburg to a national semifinal.
She also had all three Hornets goals in the 2008 ODAC championship match, a 3-2 LC win over No. 10 Virginia Wesleyan.
A graduate of Lynchburg's Doctorate in Physical Therapy program, Hoath currently lives in Colorado and works as a physical therapist.
This is the fourth in a series of features on the 2019 Lynchburg Sports Hall of Fame Class, which will run on LynchburgSports.com the week leading up to induction at the Lynchburg Alumni Awards Dinner, Friday, Oct. 18 in Drysdale Student Center.