When Ashlee Burt decided to enroll at the University of Miami in 2008, she continued an athletic tradition started by her father, Jim Burt, Sr., who played football with the Canes. In addition, her brother Jim Burt, Jr. was an outfielder on the 2001 UM baseball team that won the College World Series.
Burt continues to carry on the athletic pedigree as a key member of the women’s soccer team.
Last year she was one of just three freshmen to start all 22 matches. This year her biggest moment came on the west coast when she scored the lone goal as Miami defeated No. 20 Washington 1-0.
She vividly recalls attending her brother’s baseball games when he played from 2001 to 2004 at Mark Light Field.
“I love the area,” Burt said of Coral Gables. “It was like some of the best memories I had were here watching my brother play so when I came back here I had all these memories of good times.”
Her father was a two time All-American and played for the green and orange from 1978-1980. He would go on to win two Super Bowls with the Giants and the 49ers as a defensive line.
Ashlee didn’t always want to come to the University of Miami; like most teenagers, she yearned to be different from her family and forge a path somewhere else.
“My mom always reminds me ‘oh, you said you wanted to go to all these other places,’ ” said Burt. “I kind of just wanted to do something different just to be different but in the end this is the right choice.”
Burt chose UM over Virginia, Princeton and Boston College.
The New Jersey native had strong desires to attend an ACC school, seen by many as one of the top soccer conferences in the country. It was not until she met head coach Tricia Taliaferro that she realized the University of Miami was the perfect place for her.
“I think for her it was stepping on campus and interacting,” Taliaferro said. “There was a good connection. She is very much a blue-collar worker, something I really push for on the team.”
Ashlee’s blue-collar mentality has allowed her to be a starter since her arrival. The left side defender has turned into one of the leaders of the team. Her parents usually make the trip down to watch her, just as they did with her brother.
“She brings her competitive spirit and work ethic to the team,” Taliaferro said. “She leads by example, takes points to push her teammates in a way in which her teammates respect her.”
Ashlee often seeks advice from her brother.
“[Miami] is a great school and a great program, and I knew it was a place where she could be an impact player and help build the program,” Burt Jr. said. “I had a great experience and loved my time there and knew she would enjoy it on the field and in the classroom.”
Burt Jr. has helped maintain Ashlee’s work ethic by helping her train during the off-season to make sure she is prepared to contribute as much as possible to the team.
“I love her. She’s my sister. I want to push her to the limit and make sure she’s the best on the field,” Burt Jr. said.
Debora Rubi may be contacted at email@example.com.