Staff Writer: Ben Robertson
WINGATE, N.C. – Imagine you are a senior in high school and have known where you are heading to college for the past two years, but suddenly, that is ripped away. That is the situation junior Wingate lacrosse goalie Megan Biase found herself in during 2018.
She committed to play at Long Island University-Brooklyn (LIU) when she was a sophomore, but when the school combined with LIU-Post to form one athletic program, her scholarship along with many other incoming athletes was put in jeopardy. So, instead of being forced to pay a hefty price to go to school, Biase had to find somewhere else to take her talents.
“I thought I was never going to play college lacrosse,” Biase said. “I was anxious, stressed, upset, and angry at the entire situation. I had to email every coach I ever talked to, and Coach (Abby) Wiley was one of the few that still had room in her recruiting class.”
Fast forward to the present day, and Biase has not only overcome that giant obstacle but found a home and thrived in an unexpected place. She won the starting job as a freshman in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and took home the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Defensive Player of the Year award as a sophomore in 2021.
It was not always easy for the Long Island native.
“I lived in the same place my entire life, and I love it there,” she commented. “Moving 12 hours away to North Carolina was scary. It is not like home at all and definitely was a culture shock. I missed my family and friends, and I missed Long Island.”
Despite her trepidations about the move, Biase immediately looked comfortable on Graham Gill Field. Like many other athletes, she found solace in her sport. She won the starting job in net during the fall of her freshman year and was having a strong campaign in the spring before COVID-19 shut down the season, ranking sixth in the nation in saves and second in the SAC.
Biase picked up right where she left off when her sophomore season came along, leading the SAC in save percentage and ranking in the top 20 of the country. She was crowned the SAC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-SAC, and Second-Team All-Region. She was also named a captain, a rare honor for a sophomore.
“Our whole family was a little scared when Megan left for Wingate. None of my children had ever lived that far from home, but she has absolutely made it work, and we are so proud of her,” her mom Kathleen said.
The Biase’s are a tight-knit bunch. Kathleen and her husband Angelo are mainstays at Wingate women’s lacrosse games. Despite the distance, at least one of them, often both, can almost always be seen in attendance at Graham Gill.
“When my son played in college we never missed a game, he was only three hours away, but we try to give Megan the same support. It is important to us, and I think it is to her too,” Angelo commented. Biase’s older brother Brian played Division III lacrosse at Moravian University in Pennsylvania, where he is now an assistant coach. Her younger sister Katie, a junior at Sachem North High School, is also garnering interest from college coaches to play at the next level.
Something that makes Biase’s on-field success at Wingate even more impressive is that she is doing it while being enrolled in one of the most challenging and time-consuming majors at the University, nursing. She is one of the few athletes in the entire nursing program. The schedule of a nursing student includes long days of hands-on learning in the hospital and a huge amount of work outside of it. Even the pre-nursing program is rigorous and involves numerous tests even to be accepted.
Many athletes are unable to handle both their sport and their major, but Biase manages to maintain excellence on the field and in class, with a 3.4 GPA through three and a half years.
“I never really considered myself doing anything other than becoming a nurse. My mom is a nurse, and my dad also works in the medical profession. It just seemed like the natural choice,” she said about her career path
. “As I said, I never really thought about anything else, I knew what I was going to do for pretty much my whole life.”
Biase has certainly found her place with her third season at Wingate now underway. She is back as a captain and star goalie on a team that is on the hunt for its first-ever SAC Championship.
“We’re excited to have Megan Biase back in the cage,” Head Coach Abby Wiley said in a preseason interview.