Ashley Evangelista missed the last six games of the 2011 season. She had ankle surgery and in April needed knee surgery.
And considering the University of Rhode Island soccer forward from Methuen was scoreless in 13 games that year, things weren’t looking too promising for this fall.
But the senior co-captain went out with a bang, tying for the team-high with five goals as URI went 11-8-1, its best record since 2007.
“I trained at and also worked at Mike Boyle’s in North Andover,” said Evangelista, a two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP at Central Catholic. “They were awesome. I came back stronger and faster. As a senior, I was more relaxed. I just wanted a positive ending to my career.”
It was a bit frustrating when goals were hard to come by.
“(People would ask), you scored 20 goals in high school,” she said. “I was hesitant all the time. Finally, when you get in your head you have nothing to lose ... This year, it came out.”
After playing four years of Division 1 soccer, and starring in three sports (soccer, Eagle-Tribune All-Star for state basketball champions, MVC All-Star in track), she has no intentions of sitting around watching TV all day.
“My brother (former Eagle-Tribune hockey MVP Tommy Evangelista) is in Lake Placid,” she said. “He said maybe you should try bobsledding. I think I’ll go up there (and try). I might do triathlons. It’s bad. I’m so competitive!”
She’s also hitting her stride academically. Last semester, she made the Dean’s List for the first time.
Evangelista was one of three area products playing for the Rams.
Reserve freshman defender Alex Levesque of Methuen contributed one assist and freshman midfielder Jessie Valenti of North Reading showed plenty of promise, seeing action in 16 games with two starts and one goal.