Meet Tori Bianco, an NYU senior from Omaha, Nebraska. She is studying international relations and Spanish. She plays forward on the NYU women’s varsity soccer team and also serves as president of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity. Tori has played soccer since she was almost three years old!
How did you get into NYU soccer?
“I went to a Columbia University soccer camp where an NYU coach noticed me, and they gave me a call. I thought it sounded great, but I had never visited NYU. So I came on an official visit and stayed with a girl on the team. We watched a game, and I fell in love with the field, the campus, and the vibe of the team. I chose NYU because I could study abroad and play soccer.”
What's your favorite part about playing soccer with NYU?
“My favorite part about NYU soccer was going into my freshman year, I immediately had a community that was like family. I met my best friends through NYU soccer. But also, it allowed me to travel and continually holds me accountable by making me keep a schedule and work out.”
How do you balance soccer and school?
“I like being busy, so I use my free time wisely. I use Google Calendar religiously. When we travel, everyone is good about doing homework. I try to maintain a balance between school and soccer. Soccer practice is a good break from sitting in the library anyway!”
What's the hardest part about playing soccer at NYU?
“NYU has a really good athletics program, but it’s not what NYU is known for, so people don’t always understand the level of commitment needed. For example, my sophomore year, I was out with a back injury and had to show up to practice even though I couldn’t play. Also, playing sports is a different mental battle than the stress of academics, so it’s a challenge to leave my academic stress in the classroom and soccer stress on the field.”
What is being on the team like during COVID?
“Our coaches have tried really hard to keep us connected through meetings and check-ins throughout the semester. We did a soccer skills challenge in the spring during quarantine and they provide us with free workouts. Obviously we were disappointed about this season and it’s hard being a senior with no final season, but I’m thankful for the past three years.”
What would you say to high school students considering playing soccer with NYU?
“If you don’t play for a competitive club travel team where NYU can see you, reach out to coaches before your senior year of high school. They are always recruiting from all over the country. So, we usually have a pretty full roster, with not much room for walk-ons. I never expected to play soccer for NYU, so trust the process and see where it leads you!”