JSU soccer overcomes having nine injured players

(Courtesy of JSU)(Courtesy of JSU)

Josie Howell, Sports Editor

This season for the JSU soccer team has been one of the toughest seasons that head coach Neil Macdonald has faced. With nine players out for the season, seven being starters, this has left the Gamecocks with 12 fully fit and healthy players who have had to carry the workload in both training and games. 

There are five players that are still currently out for the season. These players include senior captain and starting center back Danelle Lindo and starting center back Adrianna Karpa, both of which have been out with a concussion. Starting left back Lindsay Albani and starting mid-fielder Issie Spray who have been out with a fractured foot. And Rachel Blanding, starting center forward, is out with an ACL injury. 

Four players who have sat out this season are returning from injuries, but have not yet been in a condition to play in a match. Senior captain and starting mid-fielder, Kalea Romano, is recovering from a quad tear. Starting midfielder, Julia Papa, is recovering from an MCL strain. Morgan Lerch, starting goal-keeper, is returning from hip injury and forward, Ali Thomas, is recovering from a triple injury with a concussion, high ankle sprain and an ACL injury. 

The Gamecocks are two games away from ending their regular season. They currently have an OVC record of 1-4 and an overall record of 4-12 which includes a nine-game losing streak. It is no doubt that the mass amount of team injuries has played a role in the Gamecocks tough season that they have faced.

Players such as freshman Cynthia Bagozzi and Seniors Cheyenne Carden and Emma Meadows have all stepped up and showed out on the field all throughout the season. As just a freshman, Bagozzi has recorded an impressive 33 shots with 16 shots on goal, while also scoring an equally impressive 11 goals.

Carden has also contributed a lot offensively with 23 shots and 12 shots on goal. She has also contributed six goals for the team so far. Meanwhile, Meadows has contributed 12 shots, ten shots on goal and a total of eight goals for the season. Despite many losses throughout the season, Macdonald has always expressed how proud he is of his team and their hard work.

“I am really proud of this group as they have played really well throughout conference play, perhaps with the exception of SIUE, where we did not compete the way we should.  The injuries have forced many players to play out of position, and of course limit rotation in games leaving us constantly fighting fatigue,” said Macdonald. “Their attitudes have been excellent, and the girls have never stopped working for each other and the team.”

The Gamecocks have two away games left in their regular season. The first game will be this Friday, Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. against Southeast Missouri. The last game will be this Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 pm. Against UT Martin. Both games can be streamed on the ESPN+ app.

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