ROCHESTER HILLS – If there’s any spring sport athlete who could be somewhat excused for suffering from a case of “senioritis” right now, it is Stoney Creek senior soccer player Lilley Bosley.
After all, Bosley already has a college scholarship to the University of Michigan in tow, and she already has been named the winner of the Miss Soccer Award after earning it last year as a junior.
But as much as it seems like she could, there has been no mailing it in this spring. On the contrary, she is playing with the hunger and determination of an underclassmen trying to prove herself.
It’s not even May, and Bosley has 10 goals and two assists for the Cougars, who play in the brutally tough Oakland Activities Association Red and are ranked No. 3 in Division 1 in this week’s coaches association poll.
Bosley has been great her first three years of high school, but appears to be saving her best for last – which is a scary thing for opponents.
“She has become physically stronger and tactically more knowledgeable,” Stoney Creek head coach Bryan Mittelstadt said. “She is a true student of the game and wants to learn as much as possible. She is an avid soccer fan outside of playing and always is willing to share highlights from the night before or player information. She has been a real pleasure to talk the game of soccer with, as well as watching her grow into a leader on and off of the field.”
For Bosley, she has been motivated to excel this year for both her future and present situations in soccer.
She wants to make sure she is fit and in form when she gets to Ann Arbor in August, when the possibility of immediate playing time exists as part of a young Michigan team.
“If I work really hard this summer and during high school season, hopefully I can get to play there,” she said.
But Bosley also is determined to go 100 percent for Stoney Creek for multiple reasons, one being she simply loves playing for her school.
“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s a different atmosphere. You get to play with all of your friends from school, and all the families get to support you. It’s a fun time to represent your school and know everyone is rooting for you. To try and win a state championship where you can put it up in the school and everyone will see it.”
Bosley also is a strong candidate to win Gatorade State Player of the Year and become the first player since Laura Heyboer of Hudsonville Unity Christian in 2007 and 2008 to win the Miss Soccer Award two years in a row.
Winning it as a junior put her in rare company, and certainly came as a surprise.
“I didn’t even know I was up for consideration,” she said. “I knew it’s usually only a senior thing. I was super surprised.”
Bosley projects as a central defender in college and has played that position for much of her club career with the Liverpool Football Club, formerly known as Vardar.
For Stoney Creek though, she has played mostly midfield and forward.
“I was a forward when I was younger,” Bosley said. “My club team was winning 1-0 against some team. My coach decided to put me in center back for the last 20 minutes. I was never put back at forward. I’ll miss it for sure (in college); I love scoring. But you never know. I could sometimes get opportunities and move up (the field).”
Her final and most important motivation for going all out for Stoney Creek is the desire to lead the Cougars to their second Finals championship, joining the 2016 squad that earned the Division 1 title.
That championship team had special meaning for Bosley, not only because she attended a couple of the team’s games, but also because the only goal of that championship game was scored by Emily Solek, the sister of current teammate and friend Lily Solek.
Emily Solek died tragically in a 2020 car crash, and winning a title in her honor would be the perfect way to finish off a terrific high school career.
“That would be awesome to win it again, and hopefully do it for her,” Bosley said.
No doubt, don’t expect “senioritis” to strike Bosley anytime soon.
Keith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties
PHOTOS (Top) Stoney Creek's Lilley Bosley winds up during her team's May 2 game against Royal Oak. (Middle) Lilley Bosley holds up her Miss Soccer Award after receiving it last summer following her junior season. (Top photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout; middle photo courtesy of the Bosley family.)