WEB EXCLUSIVE: Northwestern goalkeeper Bridget Bianco, of Moorestown High School, waited an entire season to start at her position behind three-year veteran Brianne LoMato in 2012. She waited a more grueling four years to hear her name get called as an Under Armour All-American.
Even though it seems as though she's waited too long for her college career to begin, the wait may be over but the ride has just begun.
If her patience persists and she has a solid day in the cage, Bianco could see herself in a few short days playing for Northwestern's eighth national championship, and its third in a row. Although it seems like it would be a daunting task for most, that is, to stop the No. 3-seeded Tar Heels, for Bianco it'll be another day in the net.
"My biggest problem is my patience," she said in a 2011 article in the Inquirer. "If a goal goes in and I think I could have saved it, I will definitely go back, and I'll be watching it in my head as the next draw comes."
Though she's not the most imposing at 5-foot-3 in the cage, Bianco's numbers speak for themselves. In 21 contests and more than 1,300 minutes logged in front of the goal, the former Quaker has only lost twice in her two-year collegiate career. This season alone, Bianco has faced 353 shots and recorded 128 saves for a .438 save percentage and an even more impressive 7.47 goals-against average, good for fifth best nationally.
Bianco anchored the Wildcats to a 12-game win streak that lasted nearly two months in the middle of the season. Northwestern's current win streak stands at six.
Her high school coach, Deanna Knobloch, said Bianco is the "best high school goalie I've ever seen."
"She could have played goalie for us when she was in middle school," Knobloch said in the same 2011 article for The Inquirer. "I mean, we knew she was going to be a star. There was no question about it."