Bourret Joins Seattle Synergy

Senior concurrently playing for soccer team, finishing up classes at EWU

Lillian Bourret, formerly with the Eastern Washington University women's soccer team and in the process of finishing up her senior year at EWU, has been crossing the state on numerous occasions to play for the Seattle Synergy, a new team in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL).

The midfielder has been heading to Seattle every weekend to practice with the team since late March.

"I am starting to understand what it feels like to be a trucker," Bourret laughed. "But I like it; it's nice to spend weekends in Seattle, even though it is difficult to live in two different places."

She will have an especially busy day on June 13, when she will participate in the graduating ceremonies that morning before heading across state to play in an afternoon game against Monterey. Bourret is then planning to move full-time to Seattle, her home town, and finish out the season. Her long-range plans are not set at this time.

The international affairs major has enjoyed her time at Eastern Washington.

"Academically, I really like my major and learned a lot that will help me," Bourret said. "Athletically, I had an awesome time. I loved my teammates, and the coaches were awesome. I've made friends I'll have forever. And being able to compete at a high level for four years has caused me to grow a lot as a player."

Bourret and the Seattle Synergy will play the majority of their home games at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, home of the MLS Seattle Sounders FC's official training facility. The team is also expected to play a couple of home games on June 26 and 27 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle Center, near the Space Needle and KeyArena.

The Synergy will compete in the seven-team Pacific Conference's North Division. Other teams in the division include the California Storm (based in Sacramento), FC Sacramento Pride, Monterey Blues, Portland Rain FC, San Francisco Nighthawks and Walnut Creek Power. All but Seattle and Portland are based in California.

The WPSL is an independent national league whose main focus is on the development of highly competitive amateur women's soccer teams. The league also makes every effort to bring quality soccer to all levels of the community and to promote the stature of female athletes as role models for our youth.

The quality of play in the league is top-notch.

"It will be similar to Division I," Bourret said. "It's kind of a given that players are fit and technically skilled, so the level of competition will generally be a little bit higher. It should be similar to some of the really top Division I teams that I have played while at Eastern."

One of Seattle's most anticipated games of the 2009 season will come on July 14 when the Argentinean national team will pay a visit to Tukwila. Argentina is ranked second among South American teams - behind Brazil - and 28th in the world in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking's March 27 rankings. The nation is one of 13 to have qualified for each of the past two Women's World Cups.

"I'm excited about this game," Bourret said. "It will be my first international experience ever."

Seattle opens its season in Tukwila against California at 2 p.m. on May 30. The league season runs from May to August. This year's league championship tournament will be held from Aug. 1-2 in Uniondale, N.Y., less than 30 miles east of New York City. In 2009, there will be 53 teams in the league battling for those four spots.

The Seattle Synergy page on the WPSL's official website may be found here.  

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