Millersville alumna becomes second-ever woman selected to referee NBA playoffs

Ashley Moyer-Gleich officiates a game in 2020. PHOTO COURTESY OF KYLE TERADA / TERADA PHOTOS

Katelyn Auty
Head Copy Editor
Social Media Editor

Ashley Moyer-Gleich has become the second woman selected to officiate the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs. She’s the first woman in over a decade to be selected, succeeding Violet Palmer, who was featured in nine games from 2006 to 2012. 

Moyer-Gleich graduated from Millersville University in 2010 and played basketball for the university during her time here. She was promoted to a full-time NBA official in November 2018. Since then, she has worked over 200 regular-season games and is one of the three first-time playoff official selections by the league this year. 

“Congratulations to these 36 officials on the well-earned and prestigious honor of being selected to officiate in the NBA Playoffs,” NBA President of League Operations Byron Spruell shared. “We appreciate the professionalism, dedication and teamwork that our officiating staff displays on a daily basis throughout the season.”

The league will trim the officiating roster each round, usually reaching a 12-person list for the finals. Those referees receive a white warm-up jacket, a tradition in the league. 

“Just like playoffs are coveted, the white jacket is even more super-coveted,” Moyer-Greich admitted. “Obviously that’s an aspiration and that’s a goal way far down the road… And whether I’m the first or not, I think just a female breaking through and getting that opportunity would be monumental.”

Millersville student fields the perfect internship

Taylor Campagna prepares for a busy night as a Phillies ball girl. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAYLOR CAMPAGNA

Katelyn Auty
Head Copy Editor
Social Media Editor

As a college student, it can be hard to find a job or internship that works with your school and extracurricular schedule. Luckily, Millersville student Taylor Campagna, found just what she was looking for as a Philadelphia Phillies ball girl. 

Although ball girls are typically seen as someone who sits on the side of the field and collects foul balls, Campagna explains that they are also very active members of the community. 

“A ball girl participates in over 100 community events, both at the ballpark and throughout the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware area,” says Campagna. “They also act as role models for younger softball players by hosting camps and clinics and teaching them about playing the sport of softball.”

Campagna got involved with the Phillies after attending a college night hosted by the team, an event she was encouraged to attend by Dr. Daniel Keefer, the chair of the Wellness and Sport Sciences department at Millersville.

“I’ve played sports my entire life,” says Campagna. “I’ve played softball since I was five, when it was considered t-ball. I’ve also been a Philadelphia sports fan since I was four. So, when I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sports, I felt that this was a great opportunity to kind of get my foot in the door and to get to know some of the individuals within the organization.”

What really sealed the deal for Campagna was the ability to use this opportunity as her internship for school.

“Once I found out it could be my internship, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m all for this.’ I think that’s what really drew me in, is it connected my love for sports and my love for Philadelphia sports with this new passion that I found in sports business and sports journalism,” shared Campagna. 

Campagna is a dual major in both sports business and sports journalism, a member of Millersville’s softball team, on the executive board for the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and an assistant to Ethan Halsey, the head of athletic communications at Millersville. 

“In the fall, I made a deal to myself that everything that I had work-wise with the Phillies and with Ethan was going to be a big priority for me because I knew that that is what’s going to help me get to the next step in my career,” Campagna explained. 

In order to balance all of her responsibilities, Campagna shared that using her planner to stay on top of everything has been a big key to her success, as well as prioritizing what is most important to her. 

“I would definitely say it’s a time commitment for sure. There’s over 80 games that happen at home. Not that I can work all of them, obviously, because I’m also a student, but there’s definitely been days where I’ve not felt my best or I had a rough day at work before or a rough week at school,” confessed Campagna. “The summer days are hot. They are long. They are sweaty. So it’s definitely understandable that this is an opportunity that not many people get. I really do try my hardest not to complain. But there’s definitely really hot nights or days or really cold nights during the postseason that get to you.”

Despite the challenges that come with battling the grueling temperatures of the summer or balancing a very full schedule, Campagna speaks fondly of her experiences as a ball girl, especially her experiences seeing the children at games.

“I would say my favorite part is seeing the kids’ reactions to when I meet them, when I give them a ball, when I’m teaching them at a clinic. Seeing the smile and excitement that they have in that moment, it’s, I can’t even describe it,” Campagna recalled fondly. “It just makes me so happy because I know I just made their entire day with that small little action of just saying hi or handing them a ball card or even getting to give them a ball. It makes their whole day, their week, their month. I understand as a kid how much that little moment could mean because it meant so much to me when it happened to me. So now that I can do that for someone else, it’s pretty full circle.”

Campagna noted that those moments, as well as the opportunity to have an internship in a field that she loves, make her excited to go to work every day. 

“I think that’s also just really cool because a lot of people come back from their internships and they’re like, ‘it was just like an internship’ where I’m like, ‘I want to go back. I can’t wait to be back,’” Campaga shared. “I love every second of it.”

First stadium built for a professional women’s team opens in Kansas City

Alex Pfieffer poses for a media day photo. PHOTO COURTESY OF KANSAS CITY CURRENT

Katelyn Auty
Head Copy Editor
Social Media Editor

The Kansas City Current opened their new stadium on March 16, which is said to be the first of its kind purpose-built for a professional women’s team. The Current was founded in 2021 as an expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

The Current took down the Portland Thorns 5-4 in a sold-out back-and-forth match in front of 11,500 fans. 

Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored the first goal in the new stadium. 

“I think what this club is doing and setting the standard, and building this stadium, and people showing up and supporting it, and just women’s soccer growing in general, I think it’s just super special,” DiBernardo said. “Where we started with this league and where we are now, it just shows the growth and how much players have put into it and really pushed the standard, and how much we’ve kind of really had to fight for ourselves. And it’s just the start.”

At just 16 years old, Alex Pfieffer became the youngest player to score in NSWL regular season history. Pfieffer’s goals turned out to be the game-winner. 

Kansas City Current took to X, formerly Twitter, to congratulate Pfieffer on her goal, saying: 

“The stuff dreams are made of.

16-year-old @AlexPfeiff17 became the youngest goal-scorer in @NWSL regular season history. 

Her first goal with KC Current, a game-winner in her pro debut.

At the first stadium purpose-built for a women’s sports team. 

Iconic.”

The match was also the first streamed on ABC as part of a new deal with the NWSL. Future NWSL games can be seen on ESPN and ABC throughout the 2024 season. 

The Kansas City Current will be back in their home stadium on March 30 for their matchup against Angel City Football Club. 

“This is the beginning of the change,” said Head Coach Vlatko Andonovoski. “This is going to forever change women’s soccer.”