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For two unlucky Lady Knights, varsity soccer season ends before it starts

Meena Anderson and Josephine Clarke

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With then junior Josephine Smith standing by her side, Coach Nancy Honeycutt gives the varsity girls soccer team a pep talk during last year’s game against Anderson. Photo by Aiden Foster.

Smith, Blankenship lost for season after ACL injuries

The excitement of the start of the soccer season quickly turned to pain and disappointment for two of the team’s top players. The first scrimmage of the season, an otherwise uneventful game in San Marcos, started horribly for the Lady Knights as senior Josephine Smith and sophomore Molly Blankenship both tore one of their anterior cruciate ligaments. The ACL is a ligament in the center of the knee.

“I planted my foot and turned, and my foot didn’t move with me,” Smith, who tore her ACL within the first four minutes, said. “It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced. I knew what I had done the moment it happened so it was a bit overwhelming.” The experience happened only four minutes into the game.

Blankenship had a similar experience later in the match while she was chasing her mark.

“I didn’t know what happened, and it felt like when you pop your neck, except it was a lot louder,” Blankenship said. “I was kind of just in shock. I was like ‘I can still do this’ and I tried to get up, and I was like, ‘Maybe I should sit out for a while.’”

Both girls will be out for the rest of the season, and Smith is also unable to participate in Blue Brigade.

“It’s my senior year, and I’ve played soccer ever since I can remember,” Smith said. “It’s really hard to watch my teammates play, especially against LBJ, which is our biggest game, and I won’t be able to play.”

Blankenship said the new turf at the San Marcos stadium affected the way she would normally play.

“I tried to turn around, and I think partly the turf was super new so my leg just stuck, and as I turned I heard something pop,” Blankenship said. “I went down and tried to get back up, but I couldn’t stand, so I had to go off.”

Blankenship wants to resume playing as soon as possible, but the chances of her being able to participate in this season are very slim.

“I’m not sure, but what I’ve heard for ACL tears is about 6-9 months,” Blankenship said. “Before surgery you’re supposed to try and get as much movement as possible. It hurts to bend it, but I‘ve been trying to push myself a little bit.”

Smith also said that there is little chance of a quick recovery.

“I haven’t gotten my results back from the MRI, but I probably tore my ACL,” Smith said. “I can’t really do much until I find out exactly what it is. If I get surgery, I’m out for the season.”

As for the rest of the team, they must make up for the loss of two experienced players.

“[The team is] doing the best they can,” Smith said. “They have a lot of incoming freshman that play defense, which is really helpful.”

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For two unlucky Lady Knights, varsity soccer season ends before it starts