How cool would it be to say a pro soccer player began their career playing on Wash U’s women’s team?! Senior Lillie Toaspern will find out this coming Tuesday if she has snagged an Amateur Contract to play with the Chicago Red Stars. She has been playing the game since she was 3 years old and hasn’t stopped hustling since. Tempted to go for a big D1 school, Lillie chose Wash U because of its exceptional program and strong academics. We are so glad she did so we can root for her on our own turf. Read on to learn more about this week’s impressive Campus Celeb:
Hometown: Denver, CO
Major/Minor: Global Health and Environment major, Environmental Studies/Psych minors
On-campus involvement: Kappa Kappa Gamma, Women’s Soccer Team
1. When did you start playing soccer? I started practicing with my older brother’s team, the Cheetahs, when I was 3 or 4 but my first team was the Kittens when I was 5. My mom was the coach and we wore all pink uniforms but we were kind of awesome. One time we beat the butterflies 17-0. The Rainbow Sharks were our biggest rival.
2. Was it always just soccer or did you play other sports too? I grew up playing a lot of different sports (tennis, basketball and softball) but then I realized I didn’t have very good hand eye coordination, I liked playing outdoors and I found softball really boring. In middle school and high school I ran cross-country as well but it was mostly to stay in shape for soccer. My favorite part of XC was the slogan on our shirt that said “Our workouts are longer than our shorts” lol
3. Have you always dreamed of going pro? As a little girl I guess I dreamt of playing in college just because there was never a consistent professional league. I really wanted to be like Mia Hamm, I had a huge poster of her on my wall!
4. Did you consider playing D1 or did you always want a D3 team? I did consider playing Division 1 but I played for a small club in high school so I wasn’t heavily recruited. I was ultimately deciding between a small D1 school and Wash U but I chose Wash U because I wanted to win a national championship! We have such a great program (and great academics) so it was a perfect balance for me!
5. What have you loved most about playing at Wash U? I love my teammates more than anything. We’ve had amazingly successful seasons (ranked number 1 in the nation whaddup) but it wouldn’t mean anything without the friendships I’ve made. Super sappy, I know! But many of my friends from home tell me horror stories of the catty and mean girls on their college teams and it is literally the opposite of that here. They are my best friends in the whole world.
6. Other than going pro, do you have any other notable aspirations? At some point, I really want to coach. I haven’t decided what level I want to focus on but I’ve done a bunch of coaching for younger kids and I really enjoy it. I can see myself standing on the sideline coaching my kid’s team (just need to find a husband first lol) I hope to always have soccer be a part of my life.
7. What is the current status of your professional career? I’m currently at preseason for the Chicago Red Stars. I’ve been here since March 7 and it ends on Tuesday, April 7. On Tuesday they will announce the players who have been offered a contract. There are 20 contract spots and 8 of those spots go to national team players (who aren’t currently present because they’re training for the World Cup). The national team players also won’t be here for the first couple of months of the season because of the World Cup so the coaches will also be offering Amateur Contracts to 8 of the players who have been at preseason to fill the spots of the national team players while they’re gone. A full contract is different from an Amateur contract. It’s all kind of confusing!
We wish you the best on Tuesday, Lillie!!