The Colorado College women’s soccer season ended in October, but for co-captain and midfielder Lauren Milliet ’19, the work for her next season began in November, as she began prepqration for the the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League draft.
Her hard work, and the dedication of her coaches, paid off when she was drafted by the North Carolina Courage as the 14th overall selection in the NWSL draft, held Jan. 10 in Chicago.
“Being drafted was the most emotional and rewarding feeling I’ve ever had,” Milliet said. “I was so shocked but so happy at the same time.”
Milliet will join the Courage at preseason camp, starting March 4 in North Carolina. The season begins in April, and she is most focused on earning a spot on the 26-person regular season roster.
Additionally, Milliet is looking forward to meeting two of her role models who currently play for the Courage — McCall Zerboni and Denise O’Sullivan.
“They are both midfielders for the Courage and both have a tenacity and technical ability that I hope to mimic in the NWSL,” Milliet said.
In order to start playing with the Courage in a month and a half, Milliet is finishing her English major during Block Five. She will then take remote classes to finish out the year as she transitions into life in the NWSL. “I feel like it will be similar to when I was in school and playing during the season at CC,” Milliet said.
After four years, Milliet will leave CC with a long list of honors and awards. She scored over 50 career points, including 17 last season. She was part of the 2018 team that won CC’s first Colorado Cup, scoring the only goal in the Tigers 1–0 victory over Air Force on Senior Day. At the end of the season, Milliet was named to the second-team All-Pacific Region by the United Soccer Coaches and she was first-team All-Mountain West in 2017 and 2018.
Milliet credits both her coaches and teammates for helping her during her time at CC to prepare for the NWSL. In November, the coaches sent videos of Milliet’s CC play to NWSL teams to display her skills before the draft. “I also think that my teammates helped prepare me for the next level, as they have always pushed me to be my best, day in and day out,” Milliet said.
Coack Geoff Benett said that while adjusting to NWSL play will be difficult, Milliet will step up to the challenge. “As a coach, you are constantly looking for players to challenge themselves and be the best player on the field every time they cross the white line,” Benett said. “In our biggest game, she didn’t play hesitantly, she thrived, and thats what makes you think she is ready to be a pro.”
Milliet has a busy few months ahead of her, but she is looking forward to continuing her soccer career in the NWSL.
“I am beyond excited to push my game and ability more than I ever have in the NWSL,” Milliet said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to play with such prestigious women at the height of their careers. I cannot wait to learn and grow alongside them.”