Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Kristine Lilly vs. Ryan Gomes

AP Photo

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.


4. Kristine Lilly

Professional Soccer


Wilton’s Kristine Lilly has played in more international games than any player in the history of the sport, men’s or women’s. Lilly began playing for the U.S. National team as a high schooler in 1987 and played through 2011.

In all, Lilly was a member of the U.S. women’s national team for 24 years, and gained her 352nd and final cap against Mexico in 2010. Lilly also ranks third in goals for the U.S. (130), behind Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.

She also owns two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2004) and was a member of two World Cup championship teams (1991 and 1999).

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

13. Ryan Gomes

NBA Forward.

The Wilby grad is one of the greatest players in Providence College history. Gomes ranks first in scoring (2,138 points) and fifth in rebounding (1,028 boards) in PC history. He was also named first-team All-American in 2004, and led the Friars to an NCAA Tournament appearance that season.

The 6-7 forward has spent six years in the NBA with the Boston Cetlics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers.

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