MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Liz Bruno has been leading the force for Trinity (Conn.) which reached its first national championship game on Saturday with a win against Cortland. Bruno scored three goals and handed out a crucial assist in the Bantams’ semifinal win. She is on the verge of capturing her first national title for the Bantams, but had to fight to get to this point.
Bruno picked up lacrosse as a kid, and couldn’t stop playing. Bruno had a great freshman and sophomore seasons in high school. She played hockey and soccer as well in high school, but she was best at lacrosse and had aspirations of becoming a Division I athlete. In her junior year of high school, Bruno tore her ACL in a soccer practice. She was ruled out for her whole junior year of high school.
|Ferraro: Salisbury rallies once again|
|Ferraro: Cortland captures silly side|
The injury came at a terrible time, in the height of recruiting season. She was not recruited by the top programs in the country. But luckily for Bruno, Trinity head coach Kate Livesay called.
“Coach called me and told me to take my time, we want you and you have a spot here,” Bruno said.
Bruno has not regretted her decision ever since.
“I couldn’t be happier to be at Trinity. I always say everything happens for a reason. That injury did happen for a reason, so I could be here today,” Bruno said. “Coach Livesay is the best coach I ever played for.”
Three All-American selections and a NESCAC player of the year award later, Bruno sits one win away from a national championship.
“There has always been expectations, and I thought if it was going to be any year to win a championship, I thought it would be this year,” Bruno said. “Every year I hoped we get there, the past two years we just got to regionals. This year with each win, it’s like ‘is this real? Is this really happening?’ And after [Saturday's] win, I believe in my team that we can win tomorrow.”
Trinity lost its only game this season to Amherst on April 25th. But that loss made Bruno push her and her team harder.
“It’s kind of good that we lost, because we had a perfect season going into the tournament last year and didn’t win,” Bruno said. “Coming into the tournament, we all know we worked so hard for each other; this was going to be the year we win the national championship. We are ready to play, were anxious and excited.”
Bruno is optimistic about Sunday’s national title game as well.
“Yeah I think our team is ready for Salisbury. We all put in a lot of work this season.”
After Saturday’s win, Bruno realized that all of her hard work in the last five years finally paid off as she reached her goal to play in a national championship. Bruno reflected on the moment.
“It was hard at the time when I got hurt, but looking back on it, I’m glad it happened. I guess I am glad that I got hurt.”