The air was crisp, the energy was high, and the girls were ready to win. September 19th, the IACS girls soccer team battled Rockport High School in Rockport, MA, both teams pushing left and right. In a one on one battle for the ball at the start of the second half, Freshman Ivana Dauwer, who plays defense, got her toes squished by a Rockport cleat. Rockport got the ball, but limping Dauwer jumped back in. Coach Bruce Cottle eventually forced her to come out. Upon examination, Dauwer had a broken toe.
Dauwer is not the only girl who is injured on the team, and the team is suffering because of it. The girls soccer team currently has nine players who are injured. Three of them cannot even play, and they are starters. Coach Cottle has had to rearrange the lineup many times to make up for the lack of players.
“For example, Araceli [Schmalz] has had to play about six different positions this year, because she’s very skilled in the fundamentals of soccer, so she can apply those to many different positions. As a result, she may not be doing what she wants to do. And she’s not the only one,” said Cottle.
Many other girls on the soccer team have not gotten to play their favorite or primary positions, because they have been temporarily moved elsewhere to fill gaps.
“It sucks because we were doing so good, and now everyone’s injured. The amount of people that are getting hurt and the amount of people sitting out at practice is really bringing down the team,” Dauwer said.
As of October 1, the girls have had five wins and two losses this season. Despite these two losses, they still have potential to finish the season strong. Cottle argues the games the girls lost have been to higher-level teams, not teams with more able-bodied players on the bench.
“The games we won, we probably would’ve won anyway; and the games we lost, we probably would’ve lost anyway,” said Cottle.
Senior Alyssa Brodeur, who is a captain, thinks the injured girls may have a positive effect on the team at games.
“It gives girls who wouldn’t get game time [the chance] to get in the game, and get a lot better,” she said.
She agrees with Dauwer that the team’s mood is down, but she sees it mostly at practices. At games, she says, the energy is still there.
Brodeur noted that the injured girls have been coming to the games, boosting the team’s morale with their cheering. “It feels like we have a bigger team that’s playing, even if we don’t have those girls playing on the field,” she said.
Despite the disadvantages the team has been facing, they have been able to keep their heads held high. Best of luck to the girls in the rest of their season, and fingers crossed there are no more injuries!