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FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Women of Wednesday: Ashleigh Johnson


Ashleigh Johnson is the best goalie in the entire sport of women’s water polo. No one else is doing what she is doing. 

Johnson became the first-ever black woman to make the U.S. Olympic water polo team, and since her debut, has helped lead the women’s team to two gold medal finishes in 2016 and 2020. 

However, Ashleigh has a significant natural advantage compared to her competitors, whether nationally or internationally. 

Johnson stands at a staggering 6’1” tall, which is 10 inches taller than the average height of a woman in the United States and 7 inches taller than the average height of a woman in Europe. 

From my experience, height is a crucial factor in water polo, and it can help determine how an athlete plays. 

Ashleigh can use her height and wide wingspan to tread high up in the water and block shots. Her long arms also help with her speed when chasing after deflected balls and trying to snatch balls away from competitors closing in. 

But, other than just her insane natural talent, Ashleigh has the stats to prove herself as the best goalie in the world. 

Johnson played four years of Division I water polo at Princeton University, and in her career, she racked up 1,362 saves in only 117 games played, making her the all-time leader in saves. 

Over her four years, she totaled a .693 save percentage, 59 assists, and 191 steals. 

Looking at her most recent accomplishments, it’s evident to me that Ashleigh Johnson hasn’t slowed the pace she’s been playing at and won’t stop until she physically can’t play anymore. 

In her most recent international campaigns, Johnson has performed to meet expectations.  

She totaled 50 saves at the 2023 World Aquatics World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. At the 2023 World Aquatics World Cup, she recorded more than 38 saves and even scored 1 goal (something exceptionally rare for a goalie to do).

Waterpolo isn’t the only thing Johnson dedicates her life to. Instead, she’s also an advocator and role model for young female polo players like myself. 

Along with her sister Chelsea, she has established a learn-to-swim program for the under-resourced children in her hometown of Miami, Florida.

Johnson is also a brand ambassador for the Australian swimwear company Jolyn. They strive to help women have confidence in their bodies and the courage to try new adventures. Using her ambassador position, she advocates for women and young girls.

Ashleigh Johnson has been named the best goalie in the world, and it’s true. Not only is she a beast in the pool, but she’s also a great person outside of the water. She offers young polo players an idea of how they can give back to their community. 

Watch out for Johnson as she and the rest of her team look to four-peat at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

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About the Contributor
Mady Scarlato
Mady Scarlato, Staff/Social Media Manager
Mady is a sophomore entering her first year on the FHC Sports Reports staff. She's a part of the swim and water polo teams. When she's not writing, some of her favorite things to do are watching movies, spending time with friends, and listening to music. A fun fact about her is when she was 11 she had spine surgery. Mady is very passionate about all sports and loves to learn the stats behind them. She could tell you almost anything you need to know about any sport.   Favorite Artists: Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Cian Ducrot Favorite Ice Cream: Birthday Cake Favorite Animals: Narwhals or Llamas Favorite Food: Pasta

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