Tigard's Kelly set to become a Pilot
The Tiger standout signs to play college soccer at the University of Portland
TIGARD - Kristen Kelly has accomplished a lot on the soccer field during her four years at Tigard High School.
All-League and All-State honors, many big wins, many state playoff matches, a league championship and four years in the Tigers' starting lineup - it's all on her list of accomplishments.
Now, the Tigard High senior, who has been a standout defender for the Tigers the past four years, is ready to move on to the next level. On Feb. 8, she made that move official as she signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at the collegiate level at the University of Portland.
'I've been waiting a long time for this,' Kelly said with a smile after signing the letter of intent in front of friends and family in a ceremony at Tigard High School. 'It's really exciting. I'm definitely ready to move on to the next level.'
Kelly will be joining a University of Portland team that has emerged as a perennial national powerhouse. Two years ago, the Pilots won the NCAA national championship. Last year, they reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA playoffs and finished the season with a final overall record of 17-4-3.
Kelly looks to help Portland continued that success.
'I'm a real competitive person,' she said. 'I want to put myself right in the mix. I'm excited to have a chance to be an intricate part of the team.'
At the University of Portland, Kelly will be teammates with former Tualatin High standout Natalie Budge, who will be a senior forward for the Pilots in the 2007 season.
'It's funny that Natalie and I are going to be on the same team,' Kelly said. 'She's great.'
The two met up on the high school pitch back when Kelly was a freshman.
'I remember that I got stung by a bee on game-day and later I found out that I had to mark Natalie Budge,' Kelly said. 'There I was, just a little freshman having to mark her.'
Tigard won that match 1-0 and went on to win the Pacific-9 Conference championship that year.
'That might be the best memory I have from high school,' Kelly said.
During her tenure with the Tigard High soccer team, Kelly was a first-team all-league selection during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. This past fall, she earned Class 6A second-team All-State honors.
Kelly has also excelled in the classroom at Tigard, putting together a 4.0 grade-point average.
She also has been a key player for the FC Portland Maroon club team that has won three Oregon state championships and she has been selected to the Region IV Olympic Development pool.
All of this brought her plenty of attention from colleges, as she was recruited by more than 60 schools. Her final choice came down to the University of Portland, the University of Washington and the University of Southern California.
'In the end, I just loved the University of Portland,' she said.
She made that decision more than a year ago, as she gave the Pilots a verbal commitment back in January of 2006. But, on Feb. 8, she made that decision official.
'It's great to get this finalized,' she said.
Another are high school senior standout will also be moving on to play Division I women's soccer.
Tualatin High School senior Lindsay Parlee signed a letter of intent on Feb. 7 to play for Washington State University.
Parlee, a goalkeeper, has helped the Timberwolves win the past two state championships.
She earned first-team Class 6A All-State honors this past fall, when she didn't allow a goal in Tualatin's final 11 matches of the season.