wvu olympians

Left to right: Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Ginny Thrasher—WVU's Olympic medalists honored at halftime of the WVU vs Missouri football game on Sept. 3, 2016.

WVU Olympians

Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, Ginny Thrasher


Kadeisha Buchanan

Senior defender Kadeisha Buchanan will likely go down in WVU women’s soccer lore as the most decorated player to ever come through the program.

This season Buchanan helped lead the Mountain- eers to the No. 1 ranking, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a spot in the College Cup. The four-time reigning Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year was recently named a semi-finalist for the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Award, which is re- garded as the Heisman Trophy of women’s soccer. Also, Buchanan was named the National Player of the Year for 2016 by espnW.

But what sets Buchanan apart is her success on the international level. Playing for her native Canada, she was named the Best Young Player at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She also helped lead the Canadian national team to a Bronze Medal at this past summer’s 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Ashley Lawrence

A native of Canada, like fellow teammate Buchanan, senior midfielder Ashley Law- rence will leave WVU as one of the most prolific and versatile soccer players to have ever dawned the Mountaineer uniform.

This season, the box-to-box midfielder leads the team with 10 assists, adding four goals as well, including the game-winning goal in overtime against TCU in the Big 12 Championship match.

Like her teammate, Lawrence was also named a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy Award.

Despite her primary position as a midfielder, Lawrence has shown the ability to play anywhere on the pitch. During the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when she and Buchanan won the Bronze Medal, Lawrence actually played in defense as a full back. At times this season, when the Mountaineers were dealing with injuries, she slotted into the defense then as well.

In addition to her team’s triumph in Rio, Lawrence was also a starter for Canada’s 2015 World Cup squad. 

Ginny Thrasher

Before attending West Virginia University in the fall of 2015, Ginny Thrasher was a little-known junior shooter from Springfield, VA on the verge of breaking through.

After taking home the gold medal for 10m air rifle in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the glass ceiling had been shattered.

Beginning her freshman season by not being on the travel team, the sophomore engineering student quickly found herself in the lineup through her tireless work and dedication to the sport.

Poised and ready, Thrasher entered the NCAA Championships in March, and after winning the smallbore competition the day before, Thrasher became only the second Mountaineer ever to sweep both of the individual competitions at the NCAA Championships.

In addition to sweeping the individual contests, Thrasher, with her four senior teammates, breezed through the team competitions on their way to WVU’s 18th overall and fourth consecutive national title.

After a stellar freshman season, Thrasher took on an even bigger stage over the summer when she travelled to Rio de Janiero, Brazil to take on the best shooters in the world.

After shooting a perfect score in the first portion of the final round, Thrasher held off Du Li and Yi Siling to take home the gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle competition.