Providence women's wrestling on the map in the NAIA

Providence HC Matt Atwood and assistant Yurie Yoneoka.jpg
Posted at 10:57 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 12:08:42-05

GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence women’s wrestling program is on to something special with multiple wrestlers receiving national top rankings in their weight class.

Senior Ivy Navarro is ranked No. 1 in the 101-pound division, and sophomore Ashley Gooman is making waves this season after recently being named NAIA Wrestler of the Week earlier this season. Gooman is currently fourth in the 116-pound division.

“Ashley was actually the first girl I ever signed as a head coach so that was nice but she does all the right things, she’s one of the hardest workers in the room, hardest workers academically,” head coach Matt Atwood said. “She has a really heavy load planning on being a doctor so she’s what you’re looking for in a player.”

In Atwood's second year with the program, the nationally-ranked No. 14 Argos are young and star-studded. Part of the reason is because of the transfers that came over from Atwood’s prior school, Midland University in Nebraska, due to his stellar relationships with the players and Gooman’s convincing.

“He was more than a coach for any of us, he really took care of us and my parents also saw that which is why they were pretty confident in my decision to transfer here to [Providence],” Gooman said.

“When I came, she wanted to come and a lot of girls want to be with Ashley so I mean she’s one of our team leaders,” Atwood added.

Gooman, who won NAIA Wrestler of the Week earlier this season, is one of nine girls from Hawaii and credits her home state as the main reason her drive to succeed is so high.

“Coming out of state to wrestle, to represent where we’re from and our families, it just makes it more of our reason why, why we compete, why we continuously drive ourselves and just try to do the best that we can.”

The Argos next competition will the National Duals in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 6.