Academically, Ashley Scott is a top student.
Athletically, she ranks right up there, too, as a leader of the Cal Lutheran women's soccer team.
A sophomore midfielder for the Regals, the biology major has balanced studies and soccer to a science.
"It's all about priorities and time management," said Scott, who has a $1,500 scholarship to prove it.
Scott won much-needed financial assistance for earning a 3.95 grade-point average, the highest in last year's freshman class at Cal Lutheran.
"There are some athletes who say, 'There are no excuses,' " Cal Lutheran Coach Dan Kuntz said. "They're excellent students even if they have to stay up all night to do it. And she does that."
Scott started for the Regals as a freshman, finishing with six goals and three assists to help Cal Lutheran win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.
This year, she and the Regals are having repeat performances.
Heading into their regular-season finale against Pomona-Pitzer at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cal Lutheran, the Regals (14-4, 11-0 in conference play) are ranked 12th in the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America's NCAA Division III poll. They have wrapped up their seventh consecutive SCIAC championship.
"I wouldn't trade my experience here for anything," Scott said. "I love playing on this team, and I feel even stronger and more comfortable this year."
As co-captain of the team with leading scorer Kim Holeman, Scott has five goals and four assists with a physical brand of play she learned at Central High in Phoenix as the only girl on the boys' team.
"I was always challenging myself," Scott said. "It made me think a lot quicker because the guys are a lot quicker physically. I learned to anticipate things quicker to make up for it."
The Regals are reaping the benefits of Scott's experience.