A former Mountaineer placed eighth in the running for the women’s Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious award in professional soccer. 

Ashley Lawrence, a defender who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain and the Canada women’s national team, was nominated for the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player with a WVU connection to earn that distinction. The recognition comes after one of the most successful seasons of her professional career, which culminated in a gold medal with Canada over the summer at the Tokyo Games and a Division 1 Féminine championship with PSG. 

Lawrence was a three-time All-American and two-time semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy during her WVU career, which spanned from 2013-16. She was a key cog in the squad that finished as the runner up in the 2016 College Cup. 

At the international level, the former Mountaineer has made more than 100 career appearances for Canada and has logged seven career goals. 

The Toronto native is also a former winner of the Canadian Player of the Year award. 

Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the 2021 Ballon d’Or. The women’s Ballon d’Or was introduced in 2018, but no winner was named in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.