In her second season as the women soccer team’s starting goalie, junior Bridget Lang has more than carried her weight. The Robbinsville, N.J. native has recorded five shutouts on the season — most recently a 2-0 victory over a very potent Brandeis University squad — while helping UR to a 6-2 record (1-0 in the University Athletic Association).
Why did you decide to attend UR?
I decided to attend UR because of its reputation of academic and athletic excellence. I knew I could compete for a competitive soccer program that is also serious about putting the word “student” ahead of “athlete.”
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I have several pregame rituals. I always listen to “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Flo Rida in the locker room before every game, I wear my pregame shirt under my goalie jersey and I have to re-tie my shoes at some point in warm up.
Who has been the greatest influence on your soccer career?
My dad has always pushed me to be the best I can be. Throughout my soccer career, I have always aspired to be just like him, a competitive collegiate goalkeeper. He has provided me with the resources I need to be successful, and I know he is always there to support me. In fact, he was my coach growing up — he never missed a high school game — and he has attended almost every single collegiate game of mine, no matter how long the drive.
Your team recently ended a two-game skid with a 2-0 victory over Brandeis. Did you go in with a different game plan or mentality to get the win?
We knew that we were starting our conference season and, as our coach told us, “no matter what, you put it all out there when you are playing a conference game.” Now that we have lost two games to competitive regional opponents, our conference games matter that much more. We also tried a new formation for the Brandeis game in order to have more people in the attack yet still have a strong defensive support. Every single day, we practice to compete for a conference championship.
As the team’s last line of defense, do you feel any added pressure to perform on a day-to-day basis?
I definitely feel a little bit more pressure knowing that my mistakes could directly lead to a goal, but I don’t ever let that control me. I know that every day in practice I must gain the trust of my teammates in front of me so that they know I’ve got their backs. I also know that every single one of my teammates have my back, since there have been countless times where defenders and midfielders have saved balls off the line.
How do you go about shrugging off goals early in the game to make sure they don’t impact the rest of your game?
Getting scored on is definitely rough, but my coach, [Thomas] “Sike” [Dardagonis], has always told me that negative attitude is contagious and that if I show defeat after getting scored on, that [it] will spread to the rest of my teammates. Instead, after getting scored on, I’m right there to pick up my teammates and let them know that we are still in the game. In order to keep my focus for the rest of the game, I must let go of any goals or close calls in order to make sure I do my best to prevent them from occurring in the future.
<i>Bernstein is a member of the class of 2014.</i>