Queen wins top US award

Queen wins top US award

MASERU – Lesotho star Boitumelo Rabale has been named the National Junior College Women’s Soccer Player of the Year in the United States after an inspired 2019 season for Lewis and Clark Community College.

The prestigious award was bestowed on Rabale by United Soccer Coaches which is an organisation of American coaches founded in 1941 and today is the world’s largest association of its kind with over 30 000 members.
The Lesotho national women’s captain received the honour on Wednesday and it continues her dazzling rise in America.

‘Queen’, as Rabale is affectionately known, plays for Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC Trailblazers) in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) league. She joined the team on a four-year scholarship two years ago from Kick4Life.
After a promising debut season in 2018 she caught fire last year.

Rabale topped the NJCAA scoring charts with 57 goals and 33 assists and helped the Trailblazers to a third-place finish at the NJCAA Division National Tournament last November in Florida.

“I’m so excited and very happy to win this (award),” Rabale said in an interview with the Telegraph publication in the US.
“When this season started my goal was to be the top goalscorer, but I could not do it without our team. We had an amazing group and I love them all,” she added.
“A lot of credit goes to the team. We stayed together all year and things worked out.”

The Trailblazers’ coach, Tim Rooney, showered praise on Rabale.
“She’s hardworking, had outstanding ball skills and has a knack of knowing where the ball is going,” Rooney said.
“And you might not think it by her stats, but she’s very unselfish. She loves setting up other players to score.”
Rabale has enjoyed a sparkling career so far.

In 2015 she won the inaugural Lesotho Women’s Super League with Likhosatsana.
In 2016 and 2017 she captained Bloemfontein Celtic to South Africa’s national crown. In 2018 she inspired Lesotho to an Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifying win over eSwatini which was Mehalalitoe’s first-ever victory in the continental qualifiers.

Her glittering performances led to a scholarship with Lewis and Clark Community College where she has spent the past two years.
The Trailblazers, who tied for third place in the NJCAA Division National Tournament with Tyler of Texas, lost just twice during the regular season before falling short in the national semi-finals in Florida.

Rabale scored five of the Trailblazers’ eight goals in the national tournament, including a long rang bomb from near the middle of the field in the tournament’s opener, a 2-0 win over against Navarro of Texas.

Last year in her first season, Rabale was also part of the LCCC team which advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament but fell in the group stage.
This year the Trailblazers went a step further but this time suffered heartbreak in the semis.

“I think we had a real good chance to win (the national championship this year),” Rabale said.
“We didn’t win the semi-final, but I think if we had another chance, we would.”
Judging by Rabale’s progress, however, the Trailblazers will be back and better again this coming 2020 season.

Rabale’s honours:

2015: Women’s Super League champion with Likhosatsana

2016: SA National Championship champion with Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies

2016: Young Queen of the Tournament (SA League National Championship)

2017: SA National Championship champion with Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies

2017: Lesotho Sports Star of the Year

2020: NJCAA Women’s Player of the Year

Teboho Molapo


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