Lakeridge grad Lillie French leads Boise State soccer into NCAA tournament
It's time for the best to test the rest in the NCAA Division 1 women's soccer championship.
And this year, one of those "best" teams is led by one of Lake Oswego's best — Lakeridge High School graduate Lillie French.
French, a 2016 LHS grad, is now a senior defender for the Boise State University women's soccer team, a team that will open the 2019 NCAA Division 1 tournament when it plays at Brigham Young University in the first round of the tournament at 6 p.m. (MST) Friday, Nov. 15.
"It is a dream come true to have a great season during senior year," French said. "It feels a little unreal. My teammates and I are so excited for what's next."
The unranked Broncos enter the tournament as Mountain West Conference champions unranked while carrying an 18-4 overall record. Boise State secured the MWC championship by beating both New Mexico and San Diego State in the Mountain West Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 9.
They'll have their work cut out from them in the NCAA Tournament, however. Brigham Young is the fifth-ranked team in the country, the West Coast Conference champion and owner of an 18-0-1 overall record.
Regardless of what happens in that game, though, French is thrilled with the Broncos' season to date.
"I am really glad I came to Boise State University."
— Lillie French
"My teammates, the coaches, the program (are) all incredible," she said. "I am really glad I came to Boise State University."
French anchors the left outside back position on the defensive line for Boise State. French has started 19 games in 2019, played in all 22 BSU games, scoring one goal and making two assists while logging 1,670 minutes. French has also been recognized as an Academic All-American in each of her years of collegiate soccer.
At Lakeridge, French played her junior and senior years as a Pacer under head coach Karl Granlund, alongside her twin sister, Sophie, who currently plays soccer at the University of Portland. French received both Three Rivers League and all-state recognition at Lakeridge.
The 2019 Boise women's soccer team boasts an all-time best season record of 18 wins and four losses, including 13 shutouts. Only 12 goals have been scored against the Bronco defense this season, with 45 goals scored for BSU.
This year also marks the first Mountain West Conference title in program history and comes 10 years and a day after the Broncos won their first-ever conference championship as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
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