Girls’ soccer loses four starters to injuries

Senior+Jordan+Zade+dashes+after+a+ball+during+a+game+on+April+22.+Zade+is+a+crucial+aspect+of+the+girls%E2%80%99+soccer+team%2C+and+her+upcoming+return+will+undoubtedly+have+a+positive+effect+on+the+team%E2%80%99s+future+performances.

Presley Reinertsen

Senior Jordan Zade dashes after a ball during a game on April 22. Zade is a crucial aspect of the girls’ soccer team, and her upcoming return will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the team’s future performances.

Ella Fixsen, Editor in Chief

The De Soto High School girls’ soccer team opened its season with high expectations knowing that its senior players would be eager to get back on the field after the cancelation of last year’s spring sports season. While the players are still destined to accomplish their goals, the team’s success has been hindered due to the injury of four of its starting players. 

Senior Macie Albright faced an early injury that was recently revealed to be much more detrimental than she originally anticipated. 

“I dislocated my elbow during the Mill Valley game and it turned out to be fractured, so now we’re waiting to hear on surgery,” Albright said. 

Senior Jordan Zade is currently recovering from an injury to her hamstring, but is anticipating a return early this week. 

“About three weeks ago, I tweaked my left hamstring in a game. I recovered from that and thought I was fine, but two weeks later I hurt my right hamstring even worse,” Zade said. “I’m recovering and I think I’ll be back soon to play.”

Senior Madison Page is also battling a torn ACL, which stopped her final high school soccer season far too short. 

“It’s sad that I don’t get to play my last season, especially since I didn’t get a junior season due to COVID,” Page said. 

The same can be said for the other injured seniors on the team, as missing their final season of the sport is more than disappointing. 

“It’s devastating for sure,” Albright said. “I think we had really high hopes for this group and now that we’re injured, it’s just kind of taken a toll on us this season.”

Junior Macy Carver is also facing hardship as she fractured her ankle just after she was able to join the other players on the field this season. 

“Four weeks after I got fully cleared to play soccer after my previous basketball injury, I went into a tackle in a game and my ankle hurt really bad,” Carver said. “I just knew it was broken right away.”

Despite the disheartening fact that her 2021 season is over, seeing so many seniors face injuries within their last season makes Carver feel grateful about the timing of her own.

“After I got injured, the only thing I was happy about was the fact that I still have next year,” Carver said.

One of the largest issues with the absence of varsity players is the concerning number of position vacancies. 

“We’re asking younger girls to play more minutes and starting positions than we thought we’d have to ask them to,” said girls’ soccer coach Emily Thayer. “The injuries have us shuffling girls around and having them play different positions than they are used to, so it’s really taking all of us to think outside the box to fill in those injury gaps.”

Because of the large number of injuries present amongst the team’s members, underclassmen have been pushed to fill big shoes. 

“I think the younger players definitely got a little worried and nervous, but I think our coaches have been doing a good job of reinforcing to them that they can do this without the seniors,” Albright said. “Even though they’re kind of nervous about it, they’re doing the best that they can.”

However, many senior players recognize the positives that have accompanied the downfalls of the season. 

“It does stink that I haven’t been able to play every game and get the full senior experience, especially because of the year that we’ve had,” Zade said. “It’s been strange, but honestly, I think it’s a growing experience, and being able to see girls step up and play those missing positions is fun to see.”

One of the biggest advantages to the younger players filling the roles of their upperclassman teammates is the preparation it will bring for future seasons. 

“It’s really given [underclassman players] that boost of confidence to realize that they can handle the varsity game and they are fully capable of playing in it,” Zade said. “Next year when they are playing varsity, they’ll be more prepared and ready to take that leadership role.”

As the team approaches Regionals, Thayer is expecting a few bumps in the road, but an overall outstanding effort from the team. 

“Would we be a different team with all of our players healthy? Yes. Any team would,” Thayer said. “Our performance is impacted, but we can still do well.” 

Although the seniors will not be able to perform directly on the field, their presence at games remains important to other players. 

“All of the seniors have really good communication skills. Even though they might be on the sidelines, they are still good at communicating with the rest of the team,” Carver said. 

Despite the team’s optimistic view toward the remainder of the season, Thayer knows that this hardship is something she wishes her senior players did not have to endure. 

“It’s kind of funny to think about last year when the seniors were impacted by missing out on things because of COVID. Really, this senior group has been impacted way more,” Thayer said. “You just feel for them for not getting the season that they deserve.”