You cannot use your hands in the game of soccer... except when you’re the goalkeeper, like the Orlando Pride’s Ashlyn Harris... or when you’re Ashlyn Harris putting a ring on the hand of your girlfriend, Ali Krieger. Harris broke the news in tweets and Instagram posts this past week that she and teammate are engaged to be married.
It turns out Harris actually popped the question last summer. People magazine reports the couple were enjoying a picnic by the rocks on Clearwater Beach on September 15, just days after their final game of last season, a 1-0 loss on the road to New Jersey’s Sky Blue team. The sun was setting and they were taking a selfie together, the report says, when Harris held up a ring, much to Krieger’s surprise.
“It was a really good time because I felt really on the same page with her, and really excited about our future and talking about our future plans with kids, and family, and things like that,” Krieger told People. “It just was a really good time. I was really surprised because it just seemed like another weekend getaway for us. I wasn’t really thinking about it at all!”
“It was just us and this beautiful scenery,” Harris told the magazine. “She was making me laugh, she wanted me to take pictures, and here I am. This is what I’m gonna be doing the rest of my life. It just all froze and I was like, ‘this is it.’ “
The couple gave People an exclusive first interview about their engagement. They also posed for some truly remarkable photos by Daniel Seung Lee that capture the love they found after meeting almost a decade ago, playing on the U.S. Women’s National soccer team.
And if those images get your heart pumping, then this one, posted to Instagram by Krieger, will give you all the feels. “She really rocks my boat,” the 34-year-old defender says of Harris.
“We became really close friends, and we just hung out, we clicked, and we had so much in common,” Harris, 33, told People about the time when they first met in 2010. “We always sat next to each other on the bus and on flights, and we kind of just talked about our dreams and our hopes and what we wanted to do one day when we grew up. Because at the time, we were kids.”
“The rest has kind of been history,” Harris told People “Here we are nine years later, and we’re going to be getting married this year.”
The couple have avoided confirming their relationship, so as not to create a distraction, they said.
“We wanted to be professional and make sure that we showed up every day and did our job and it wasn’t just because we were together, it was because we love what we do, and we’re really good at what we do,” said Krieger. “And that was most important for us.”
For Krieger, it was her teammate’s “creativity and ambition” that attracted her right from the start, she tells the magazine.
“I find that so attractive, and the way that she makes me a better person. I think that I’m very quiet and reserved,” she said. “Since being with Ash, I really feel like I’ve blossomed into the woman that I want to be, and she’s helped me become the woman I am.”
As more and more of their instagram photos showed them living as a couple, Harris said they decided to confirm their engagement. “We became more and more confident within and ourselves and then clearly within our relationship,” Harris said. “We were like, now is the right time … and I feel like it’s a massive weight off of my shoulders. Finally, after all these years, I just feel like I don’t have to hide anything or feel like I’m not living up to the community I’m in.”
While the Orlando Pride gear up for the 2019 season beginning April 14, Harris has been training for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. She and Krieger plan to wed at the end of the year, somewhere in Florida, they told People.