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 carries on the athletic pedigree as a key member of the women’s soccer team.
Two seasons ago she was one of just three freshmen to start all 22 matches. This past 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 then-Mark Light Field.
“I love the area,” Ashlee 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 orange and green from 1978 until 1980. He would go on to win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive lineman.
Ashlee didn’t always want to come to the University of Miami.
“I kind of just wanted to do something different, just to be different, but in the end this is the right choice,” she said.
Burt chose UM over Virginia, Princeton and Boston College.
The New Jersey native had a strong desire to attend an Atlantic Coast Conference school, seen by many as the top soccer conference 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 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. Jim has even helped her train during the off-season.
“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,” Jim said.
Debora Rubi may be contacted at email@example.com.