ACL Injuries Take Out 3 Girls on WHS Soccer Team

Christina Freiberger



Tori Hebner and Emma Comiskey sit on the bench as they watch their team play against Natick at home on
Tori Hebner and Emma Comiskey sit on the bench as they watch their team play against Natick.

            ACL injuries, one of the leading knee injuries in sports, hit the Walpole Girl’s Soccer Team three times in one season. Freshman Emma Comiskey, sophomore Lizzy Almeda, and junior Tori Hebner all tore their ACL’s this fall season and will be out from sports for nine months. For these girls, it is very hard to watch their team play game after game without them. Always on the edge of the bench wishing they could go in, they have to hold back all their momentum and desire to just be on that field making plays and scoring goals with their team.

            Coach Jen Meade has the girls helping her and the team out on the sidelines by writing down statistics, such as the number of 50-50 balls won, shots taken, and penalties called on their teammates.

            During a summer league game for basketball Tori partially tore her ACL, and then she fully tore it during pre-season for soccer. Tori has already had her surgery and is on the road to recovery. She has been attending physical therapy four times a week, and she constantly reminds herself to keep a positive attitude. She described surgery as being very hard the first week:  “You feel like you are never going to get better, but after you get past [the first week] it only gets better,”  Tori said. She optimistically added, “Luckily, I don’t play a sport in the spring, so I can focus my time on strengthening my knee. However, I still plan on cheering from the bench during basketball season.” For two seasons in a row Tori has to sit on the bench and not play even a minute, the most frustrating thing she has ever done. But, she hopes to come back next year, her senior year, and be able to contribute to the team in every way she’s been wishing to do this year. Now that Tori has more time on her hands, she may be able to take part in more activities in the school, such as tutoring students and helping out the basketball team.

             Emma got hit on the side of her knee at the first scrimmage against Sharon, and slightly tore her ACL. Then four days later, while she was practicing with her new varsity team, she turned to run after a ball and fully ripped it. On the side with Tori, Emma explains how awful it is sitting on the bench watching her new team play without her. She said, “I wish all the time that I could be playing out there; it’s really hard to watch the team play and know you can’t help.” Emma is having her surgery on October 19 and plans to do a lot of physical therapy. She remembers to always stay positive, and she hopes to be able to recover from her injury by the spring so that she can be a part of the Freshman Lacrosse Team.

            Lizzy soon followed the two other girls, as she tore her ACL during practice as well.  While she was dribbling the ball with one defender on her side, she got a bad touch on the ball and tore it.  At first, her doctors did not think she had a very serious injury, but after analyzing it again they decided that she should get an MRI. Sure enough she became the third player on her team to tear her ACL. Lizzy may use some of her extra time to help her winter sports team, indoor track, with statistics and anything else the coaches ask her to do.

            All three girls are missing a season of soccer, and for some of them more than that, all just because of one injury. Tori and Lizzy have been crutching around school and using the elevator, which is no more than just a pain. And Emma, who is having surgery this week, will soon be joining them. All three girls are working hard towards repairing their knee and making it strong again, by attending physical therapy many times a week. They all hope to be a part of the Girls Soccer Team next year, and help the team bring more successes to the field.