Oct 2, 2020 | By Zeke Lloyd | Photo courtesy of The Catalyst Archives
Years before Lauren Millet ’19 won the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship, she admitted that she did not have high expectations for her entrance into the professional realm of soccer.
“I wasn’t going to go to [the draft]. I was convinced I wasn’t going to get drafted, I was just along for the ride,” Millet said. “They called my name, it was an out of body experience. I did not expect that, so I am obviously really grateful that it happened the way it did.”
She now plays for the North Carolina Courage. The landscape of Cary, N.C., was new to the Colorado native and Colorado College alumni. “I had never seen so many trees in my entire life,” Millet said. “It’s been a nice change of scenery for sure.”
While the location and level of competition were both novel things for Millet, she appreciated the opportunity to be around so much talent. “I think at this point, I’m comfortable being uncomfortable,” she said. “That’s kind of how you’re pushed. I think this year, I’m much further along than I was last year.”
But even during her time at CC, Millet was playing at a very high level. She scored 21 goals and had an additional 16 assists, and she was named co-captain twice. The team also found a fair amount of success under her leadership. During her senior year, the team maintained a 10-7 overall record and won the Colorado Cup.
Even outside of soccer, though, CC will always hold a special place in her heart: “I just have really fond memories of [campus], and traveling, and honestly everything,” said Millet. After four years on the soccer team, she said that much of the love she felt for CC stemmed from the close bond she had with her teammates. “We were really close at CC,” she said. “I still have really great friends on the team.”
The jarring physical and technical parts of the transition to professional soccer were more bearable when she found that same sense of home in North Carolina. “We hang out with each other, some of us are really close, and I think that’s similar to what I had at CC,” Millet said. “That was a friendly feeling, and I think that’s one of the best parts about sports.”
Millet has also had great athletic achievement with the Courage. In 2019, the team went 15-4 before winning the championship for the second consecutive year. Although the 2020 season has been impacted by COVID-19 concerns, the future of the team in years to come is certainly bright.
Millet’s future in professional soccer is a bit more of a mystery. “I think, for me, I have been taking it day by day and trying to grow as much as possible. I am exponentially better than I was last year,” Millet said. “Obviously, my hope is that one day I can play for the national team, but that comes with a lot of hard work and continuing to shine on the field.”