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Not Again

By , Hoffman Estates, IL
State soccer game, it is supposed to be the time of your life. Your team has worked all season and finally it is here. It is the ultimate goal for a sports team. Last year, spring season, that was the case for my soccer team. I was on the varsity soccer team and we made it to state. We were stoked and so was our coach, Keller. After a long, tiring season we had achieved our goal. I guess it was a sign that we deserved to go it wasn’t just luck, it had a reason. During the season I had to work twice as hard after coming back from an ACL tear in my left knee. That previous October I was playing in a soccer tournament with my club team and tore it. The ACL is a major ligament located inside the knee. It felt like I was in a tug of war, being pulled both ways. Except one way my body went and the other my knee. I was heartbroken when it happened but things happen for a reason. God has his motives for things. Since the state game was not to long after my incident I still had on a knee brace. It was annoying but reinsured the safety of my knee. I wanted to have it on but at the same time it was such a pain. The morning of state I woke up in a good mood and just had a feeling it would be a good day. Little did I know what God had planned for me that day.

On the way to the game, smiles were galore. Everyone was radiant and gossiping about how their prom was the previous night. Of course having prom the night before didn’t make it the best day to have a State game. But we didn’t have a say. When we arrived to the game, we knew it was time to focus. We meant business. The team went into the girls’ locker room to put on all of our gear. Everyone was anxious with excitement. My gut filled with butterflies, as it did every game. But this time it was a little different. My gut was screaming with nerves. Then we gathered in a room to mentally prepare for the game. Keller gave a speech that I might remember forever. “No matter what the scoreboard says at the end of the game we made it to state, and that’s all that matters” he announced. At that moment I realized how proud he was of us. Also, how proud I was of us. In the beginning of the season he had doubts about state. We were constantly yelled at for goofing off and not being focused. But we pulled our act together and now it was our time to shine.

Walking onto the field was one of the best feelings. Everyone in the stands and all eyes are on you. Once we stepped on the field we knew what we had to do. That night we were playing a rival high school, one of our lead competitors for 3rd place. Our warm-up was the best one we had done all season. All of a sudden we looked like a whole new team. I felt good about this game. But I was unsure if I would play because of my knee. Throughout the season he had slowly brought me back into playing. Making sure I would not get hurt and was ready to play. This game I desired to play and just hoped he would give me a chance. The referee whistles and it is time to start. During the anthem we tap each other’s shin guards as we do every game. Then, it is time for the huddle. One of the seniors, Nicole, gives an inspiring speech. She was hurt at the time for tearing her ACL, what a coincidence. The game starts and is on the way. We start off pretty even, battling to get some shots. Everyone is on edge on the bench. I can barely sit in my seat. By half time we are down 2-1. Keller gives us the low down and things to work on. He believes in us and tells us to leave everything we have on the field. The high pitch of the whistle sounds and the second half begins. About 10 minutes in something magical happens. I hear “Come here” come from Keller’s mouth. I thought I was in a day dream. “Go play forward and take out Elise” he said. As I step up to the half-line to go in, my heart is racing. My chest is moving rapidly. I was surprised the side referee could not hear it. I thank God and know he has given me this great chance. All my hard work from the season and now it is time. When I run onto the field I feel like nothing can stop me. The game goes on and I get some touches on the play. Then the other team takes the ball up and has a shot. Our keeper snags it, phew. Here comes a punt, I go to turn around to run after the ball and my world comes crashing down. A cringing pop comes from my right knee and instantly I collapse to the ground. The sound from my knee scared me more than hurt. Then a frazzled referee comes over asking if I am okay. He gives the wave to Keller and the trainer. All that’s running through my mind is my ACL. When Keller comes over all I can spit out is “I did it again. I did it again, I know I did”. Keller tries to calm me down but he knew how hard it was for me. As I’m carried off the field, flashbacks from my previous injury occur. After getting support from teammates and frantic calls from a distraught mom I was in denial. It wasn’t announced an ACL tear, but I knew. From previous experience I was certain. I didn’t want to admit it but I knew I would have to accept it. My time to shine had become my worst nightmare. Later in the week I went to the doctor to confirm my injury. Shortly after examining he told me the bad news. He practically stuck a knife in my heart right there. It was time for round two of surgery and physical therapy. And of course it was the start of summer soon. What a good way to spend a summer. Even though it broke my heart to hear those words of “I’m sorry to say but it’s an ACL tear” I tried to be okay with it. So again I went through the whole process. Now I have “two bionic knees” as my mom says. Even though something tragic like this happened to me, I learned that everything happens for a reason. For every situation you cannot control the outcome and what is meant to be is meant to be.





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