Home is where the heart is. It’s a saying we’ve all heard before. In the case of Northwestern forward Bridget Mitchell, home is also where the team is. The senior from Lake Forest, just north of Evanston, saw lots of action in the NCAA tournament last season. This year, she’ll try to make her presence felt throughout the season.
Who she is
Senior; forward; 5-foot-5; from Lake Forest, Ill.; went undefeated in club play in 2019 with the #4 team in the country
13.7 minutes per game; six games; 1 goal; 2 points; 1 shot on goal; 100% shots on goal.
Despite a prolific high school career and time on the Olympic Development Regional Team as a middle schooler, Mitchell rarely saw action during her first two years at Northwestern. Prior to her junior year, she appeared in just one game, making a nine-minute cameo in a 2-0 loss to North Carolina in 2021.
2022 appeared to be heading in the same direction. as Mitchell only saw nine minutes of regular season action, appearing on September 29 in a draw with Rutgers. However, her key contributions would come under the bright lights of the post season. Her appearance against Penn State in the Big Ten semifinal saw a career-high at the time 15 minutes, but the ‘Cats came up short, falling 2-0 to the Nittany Lions.
At the NCAA tournament, Mitchell’s contributions proved indispensable. After just three minutes in a blowout of SIUE, she would get seven minutes against Vanderbilt. Even with limited minutes, she made the most of her time on the pitch, redirecting a saved Josie Aulicino shot in the 81st minute to provide the ‘Cats’ go-ahead goal in a 2-1 victory. It was her first shot in her colligate career and sent Northwestern to the Sweet 16 for just the third time in program history.
While the 2022 season would end against UCLA in the Sweet 16, Mitchell played well off the bench in a career-high 39 minutes. Big minutes off the bench appear like the best-case scenario for her this season as well, given that the forward room already has players like Ella Hase, Ingrid Falls, Aurea del Carmen, and freshman phenom Megan Norkett.
However, there’s no shame in contributions off the bench, as Mitchell proved against Vanderbilt last year. She showed that she’s unafraid in the big moments and willing to take a big shot if the opportunity presents itself. Assuming her playing time improves on last year, it’s unlikely she’ll keep her mark of 100% shooting, but she will have a lot more chances to put a ball in the back of the net this year.