September 7, 2014

It is sunny and 75 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The stands are packed for the fundraiser game. We have five minutes in the second half and the score is 0–0. Both teams have put their hearts and souls into this game. It’s starting to get chippy as the fouls keep getting called.

I am set in my 18-yard-box in front of my net when my defender gets beat on her right. The forward is dribbling down the sideline and i start creeping out. My body is low. My knees are bent. My hands are on the sides of my feet. My head is still held up, with my eyes on the ball.

The forward cuts in right towards me. I am set on the ball line every time she takes a touch. Number 7 takes a small touch and pulls her right foot back to take a shot. The shot goes to my right and I make a dive for it, but as i dive to my right, my left cleat gets stuck in the turf and my knee turns the other way.

My right hand gets a tip on the ball and I was able to direct it out of bounds. The only thing on my mind was making sure that ball didn’t end up in the back of the net. My teammates start rushing towards me asking if I am okay. My adrenaline is pumping and I start yelling at my teammates to set up for a corner kick.

I am directing my teammates where to go as I am on the ground. I try standing up like normal, but my leg will not move. I try rocking up on my right leg to stand up on one foot, but I can’t.

The ref started running towards me with my coach shortly behind him. I am just sitting on the ground and I realize that I can not feel my leg.

The crowd is completely silent. My coach and my defender help me get up from the ground. The two help me hobble to the sideline. The crowd starts clapping and their clapping is like the beating of my heart. I am scared. Nothing like this has ever happened before. In my 12 years of playing soccer, this is the first time I have ever needed to be carried off the field.