Bridget Hillsman weighed a variety of colleges in trying to decide where to play after graduating from Fenwick.
But there was only one serious choice.
Hillsman will likely be the only player to represent the Midwest when she attends Providence College in Rhode Island next season.
It’s a natural fit for Hillsman, who will head to the same college that five of her aunts and uncles attended.
There will be enough familiar to keep her from feeling homesick.
For one, the senior from Elmhurst will keep the same nickname on her uniform, moving from the Fenwick Friars to the Providence Friars. She won’t have to change education philosophy; both Fenwick and Providence were founded by Dominican priests.
“It’s the school I wanted. They are both run by the Dominicans,” Hillsman said. “It’s a beautiful campus with new facilities and I like the academics.”
Hillsman said she considered other Catholic schools, visiting Marquette, St. Louis, Villanova and Xavier.
“It was my decision ultimately,” Hillsman said about family pressure to attend Providence. “It was up to me. Everyone was pretty excited by my decision to go to Providence.”
Hillsman, who plays for the Eclipse Select club in the offseason, is one of two Fenwick players heading to Division I programs; fellow Friar Cali Pyzdrowski will be attending Marquette.
Heading into the week, Hillsman scored in each of Fenwick’s previous three games, including two goals— one the game-winner — in a 3-2 victory in overtime over eighth-seeded Stevenson in the opening round of the Pepsi Showdown in Schaumburg on Saturday.
She also scored in Fenwick’s 3-2 victory over Oak Park-River Forest April 4 and in a 4-1 win over Morton March 28.
Hillsman has goals for 25th-seeded Fenwick (8-0-1), which is scheduled to welcome ninth-seeded Glenbrook South Tuesday in the second round of the Showdown.