51517_isi_lavellerose_nwsldfb051417106 Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com
Player Spotlight

Commencement Beckons as Rose Lavelle's Career Begins

The Boston Breakers midfielder and national team player enjoyed an eventful weekend—scoring a goal against the Chicago Red Stars and walking in her graduation ceremony at the University of Wisconsin.
BY John D. Halloran Posted
May 15, 2017
12:00 PM

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.—Considering everything she’s accomplished in the last five months, one might assume Rose Lavelle had put off finishing her last semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After all, in January, she was the No. 1 pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft and she followed that up in March with her first cap for the United States women’s national team.

Then came her first senior team goal, her first professional goal, and finally, NWSL Player of the Month honors for the month of April.

However, Lavelle called her graduation this past weekend her “proudest accomplishment to date.”

Speaking to American Soccer Now on Sunday in Chicago, the young midfielder reflected on why she valued her education so highly.

“Being a student-athlete is so hard in itself,” said Lavelle. “There were a lot of points when even my parents thought once I got started with my professional career I wasn’t going to finish [school]. Being able to go to school during this season and being able to finish out my degree is something I was really proud of.”

Lavelle credits her time at Wisconsin, where she won All-American honors three times, for making her a “better person and player.” And, due to the coincidence of playing the Red Stars this weekend—a three-hour drive from Madison—she was able to not only graduate, but walk in her commencement ceremony.

“Honestly, the stars aligned,” explained the Cincinnati native. “I probably wouldn’t have even bothered asking if we didn’t play in Chicago this weekend, but it was such a good experience. I’m really glad I got to go [to my graduation].”

A day later, on her 22nd birthday, Lavelle was back in Chicago and scored a goal to help lead her Boston Breakers side to a 1-1 draw, earning a valuable point on the road.

Having finished dead last in their two previous NWSL seasons, the Breakers have made a big turnaround in 2017, picking up seven points from five games and currently sitting in fourth place. Much of that improvement has been due to Lavelle, who has strengthened Boston’s midfield from game one.

After Sunday’s contest, Breakers’ head coach Matt Beard characterized Lavelle’s game against Chicago as “fantastic," adding that “she’s growing in every game.”

Lavelle believes the Breakers can build on this early season success.

“It’s definitely nice to have two wins under our belts early on. The next challenge for us is making that a consistent thing,” she said. “It’s obviously a long season ahead so we can’t get too caught up in those two wins, but it gives us a lot of confidence going forward that we can compete with anyone in this league.”

John D. Halloran is an American Soccer Now columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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