The Breakers took one step closer to finalizing their 2014 roster on Monday, signing former University of Maryland midfielder Ashley Grove. The 24-year-old Rochester, N.Y. native made two appearances for the Western New York Flash in 2013 before joining the Breakers as a pre-season roster invitee, where she featured as a true defender.
"Ashley has proven to be very versatile and that is exactly what is needed from a few players on the 20-player roster. She's comfortable at any position in the back line and has filled in as a defensive midfielder when needed," Boston Breakers head coach Tom Durkin said. "Like Mollie Pathman, she has shown a good comfort level on the ball. The speed of play has not been an issue for Ashley, and she has good athletic capabilities in her pace, agility, and strength, which will serve her well at this level."
As a Maryland Terrapin, Grove built a memorable resume, graduating fifth all-time in points (64), sixth in career goals (23) and eighth in assists (18). From 2009-2012, Grove served as a midfielder for the Rochester Ravens of the USL W-League, contributing two goals while amassing a team high 1,080 minutes in 2012.
"I am thrilled to be a part of the Boston Breakers. I am looking forward to playing for such a wonderful organization, with a great coaching staff, and awesome teammates," Grove said. "Competing with and against some of the best players in the world will only make me a better player, and I look forward to a successful season."
Grove will seemingly add depth to the Breakers back line, joining the team's shortest unit ahead of the 2014 season. Like many of Durkin's draft picks, Grove will add variety from top to bottom, featuring the versatility to push forward and join the attack at will. Pre-season comparisons to forward Mollie Pathman - who has starred for the Breakers through four matches - bode well for Grove, continuing a trend of versatile roster additions.