Print Friendly, PDF & Email – Women Who Inspire: Five Athletes Changing the Game, Despite COVID-19

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Recognition continues to come for Princeton University alumna Ashleigh Johnson ’17 as the former Tigers’ goalkeeper joins gymnast Laurie Hernandez, track & field sprinter Dalilah Muhammad, Major League Baseball’s first female on-field coach Alyssa Nakken of the San Francisco Giants and 2020 US Open Champion/tennis star Naomi Osaka on’s list of Women Who Inspire: Five Athletes Changing the Game, Despite COVID-19.

The list recognizes female athletes who were able to use the time provided by the cancellation of their season/Olympic opportunity to use their platform to enact change by raising awareness and breaking barriers by being the best at their sport. 

The 2019 Swimming World Female Water Polo Player of the Year and a four-time Player of the Year selection during the decade of 2010-to-2019, Johnson has been arguably the best water polo player on the planet as she helped her squad capture gold at the 2019 FINA Worlds.

One of only two Princeton athletes ever to win an Olympic gold medal (in 2016) and then come back to compete for the Tigers (Bill Bradley was the other), Johnson won the C. Otto von Kienbusch and Cutino Awards during her senior season in 2017. She was the first player in Princeton women’s water polo history to be named first team All-America and third ever to be selected  All-America in each of her four seasons. Johnson finished her Princeton career with a 100-17 record, along with a school-record 1,362 saves and a .693 save percentage. She was a 19-time Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Defensive Player of the Week award winner, a four-time first-team all-conference player and the CWPA Player of the Year.

The honor marks the second accolade in less than a week for Johnson who came in at #85 on The Root 100, an annual list of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45. The Root list is intended to honor the innovators, the leaders, the public figures and the game changers whose work from the past year is breaking down barriers and paving the way for the next generation. The complete The Root 100 list is available by CLICKING HERE.

Collegiate Water Polo Association