For at least the next week or two, transitioning to the University of North Carolina women's soccer dynasty could be challenging for 18-year-old goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin.
It's a smaller stage than what she's used to.
On Saturday, Heaberlin and her U.S. teammates capped nearly three wild weeks in Tokyo with a 1-0 victory against Germany in the title match of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Heaberlin, a Berkeley Prep alumnus who started in goal for her country, was the youngest player on the U.S. roster.
“I have envisioned that moment in my head so many times and I never really knew what I would do,” Heaberlin said in a Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) release.
“I kind of saw myself with my arms in the air running around, but I just jumped on my center-back because she played awesome.
Then we dog-piled. It was awesome.”
Heaberlin, one of three former FYSA and Florida Olympic Development Program (ODP) players on the team, recorded three shutouts in the tournament, including earlier victories against Ghana and Nigeria. In the final, she held off 17 German shots, pushing Leonie Maier's long-range blast into the crossbar with 15 minutes to go.
A Parade All-American at Berkeley, Heaberlin led the Buccaneers to the Class 3A state final as sophomore. She bypassed her senior season last winter to graduate early and enroll at UNC in January.
Photo: Katie Leahy, Florida Youth Soccer Association