Soccer is important to the Woodward community and Kristine Lilly’s accomplishments on the soccer pitch are almost too numerous to list. The New England native is a two-time World Cup champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist who represented the United States in five different World Cups and played in three Olympiads. Lilly is the fourth all-time leading scorer in world history, all-time leader in minutes played and has appeared in more international soccer matches than any person in world history – male or female. Kristine was honored as a Woodward Women of Distinction in 2018.
A center-midfielder, Lilly was one of the stars of the 1999 U.S. World Cup team that beat China in the final before an international TV audience and more than 90,000 fans in attendance – the largest crowd for a women’s sports event in world history and the largest TV crowd for a soccer game, men’s or women’s, in United States history. After netminder Brianna Scurry’s penalty kick save, it was Lilly’s rocket to the top left corner of the net that lifted the United States to a 3-2 lead in the overtime shootout. The United States held on to win 5-4 minutes later. It was the greatest moment in the history of United States soccer
But Lilly has also excelled off the field, too. Over the years, she has grown to support Boston Children’s Hospital, the Special Olympics and Athletes for Hope. But it’s in the field of championing women’s athletics that she’s truly sparkled, much like she did in international competition. Lilly supports the Mia Hamm Foundation, the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation and the Women’s Sports Foundation, among other organizations.
Lilly has also helped the fight for more equitable pay for female athletes. Before the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, she was part of the team that was forced to go on strike to negotiate for improved pay for the U.S. women’s soccer team, which trailed that of the men’s team despite significantly more success on the field.
Kristine Lilly became the most capped player in the history of the world on May 21, 1998, in Kobe, Japan, when she played in her 152nd game to pass Norway’s Heidi Stoere ... In 1998, she set the U.S. record for consecutive games started with 62 ... Hailed as the best flank midfielder in the world, Kristine Lilly also saw considerable action at forward in 1998, as she scored eight goals with 11 assists, good for fourth- leading scorer on the team ... A member of the gold medal winning team at the 1998 Goodwill Games ... A member of the gold medal winning team at the 1996 Olympics ... Played every minute of the USA’s five matches at the ‘96 Olympics ...
Currently the U.S. Women’s National Team all-time appearance leader and third all- time leading scorer ... Scored her 50th career international goal against England in Portland, Ore. on May 11, 1997 ... Kristine Lilly’s three goals at the 1995 Women’s World Championship in Sweden tied for the team lead with Tisha Venturini and Tiffeny Milbrett ... Named to the all-tournament team at U.S. Women’s Cup ‘95, ‘96 and ‘97 ... Named U.S. Soccer’s 1993 Female Athlete of the Year ...
As a 20-year old, Kristine Lilly was a member of the team which won the title at the first- ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in 1991 ... Through the end of 1998, she had started an amazing 159 of the 163 games she has played for the USA, missing only eight matches during that span, and has played the full 90 minutes in an astounding 134 of those games ... Through the end of 1998, the 11-year national team veteran had appeared in 87% of the games the women’s national team has played in its history ... Kristine Lilly has played over 1,000 minutes a year for the USA for six consecutive years and is the USA’s all-time leader in minutes played ... The first of nine U.S. women to reach 100 career caps.