In a season ravaged with injuries, the Simpson women’s soccer team is having a tough time keeping up with the depth of other teams. With 10 players injured at the lowest point, many players have been moving around and playing positions they are not used to, resulting in unfamiliarity with their positions and a record of 2-12-1.
Athletes in other sports at Simpson also get injured, but it seems the women’s soccer team is just a little bit less lucky. Last season, they got down to only 11 active players. This season, their numbers dropped from 24 at the beginning of the season to 14 on Oct. 8.
The injury trend started during the team’s first game, at home against Grinnell on Aug. 29, when first year elementary education major Kim Boehm tore her ACL in the second half. This was Boehm’s first collegiate soccer game, and she was put in at forward, which was to be her permanent position. Boehm got hit, and her femur and shin went opposite directions.
As advice to other athletes struggling with injuries, Boehm said, “A positive attitude is the best thing to have. It already happened; there’s not much you can do about it. Just stay positive.”
This philosophy is shared with sophomore defender and captain, Lauren Stillman. Stillman suffered a concussion early on in the season from a slightly-missed spot on a header. Luckily, it was not serious and she was back after a week. Shortly after her return, she was kicked doing a slide tackle, and one of the ligaments in her ankle was injured. This injury kept her out for three weeks, and she returned on Oct. 11 in a game against Loras. She was glad to be back on the field, but was not at 100 percent yet.
“It’s hard watching the team do sprints and having to just sit there watching them work hard. It’s difficult because I obviously play soccer because I love it. It’s hard to just sit and watch it,” Stillman said.
Even head coach Ryan Sander was injured during his soccer career. He tore most of the tendons in his ankle and had drop-foot for six and a half months. He said that his foot would basically hang limp when not in a walking boot. This injury would have impacted Coach Sander in many of the same ways that they have impacted his players, but another issue with injuries is the impact it has on the team. When players are hurt, it limits the formations the team can run and the ways that they can attack or defend the other team. There is less rest for players, and players are in positions they are not used to, which messes with the team’s chemistry.
There are a lot of ways that a player can get injured. “I tell my girls, you can hurt yourselves pretty good going down the stairs, or getting out of a bunk bed in your dorm. It’s just one of those things,” Sander said. Even the future hall of fame outfielder, Ken Griffey Jr., broke a bone in his hand after slipping in a hotel shower.
Injuries are just a part of playing the game. Luckily, the Simpson women’s soccer team is on the road to recovery, getting three players back for the game on Oct.18, and the injured are making progress every day. They are staying positive, being patient with their injuries, and hoping to finish the season strong.