As somebody with a 377-23-4 career record, Moorestown lacrosse coach Deanna Knobloch has seen plenty of great players and teams in her time. And that makes her remarks about her junior goalie Bridget Bianco that much more impressive.
"She is the best high school goalie I have ever seen," Knobloch said. "Bridget could have started for Moorestown when she was in the seventh grade."
This past season Bianco recorded 133 saves and 10 ground balls for a 22-1 Moorestown team that finished No. 2 in South Jersey by The Inquirer.
Already having made an oral commitment to attend college power Northwestern, Bianco has earned the reputation as one of the top high school goalies of the country.
She has also earned The Inquirer South Jersey player of the year award.
"She steps up big in every game she plays and makes saves that leave everyone watching in awe," Knobloch said.
When hearing this type of praise from her coach, Bianco is almost speechless.
"That is an unbelievable compliment coming from a coach of her stature," Bianco said. "It humbles me and makes me work hard to solidify what my coach is saying about me."
Nothing deflates an opponent more than having a goalie come up to make a huge save, which means that Bianco has deflated many a team. She relies on great athletic ability, anticipation and intelligence.
"I like the rush when you make a save," she said.
Bianco says that she will enjoy preparing for her senior year, especially since she won't have to deal with the pressures of recruiting.
"It's taken a huge weight off my shoulder," she said.
And now with recruiting over, Bianco can concentrate more on her game, which can't be the most comforting thought to any future opponent.