BANGOR, Maine — Junior Cordelia Stewart, who helped lead Bangor High School to Eastern Maine Class A championships in soccer and basketball as well as a berth in the EM softball title game, has undergone surgery on her left knee which will sideline her for at least six months.
Stewart said she injured her knee playing basketball in a summer league tournament game in Brewer at the end of July and underwent surgery two weeks ago.
“I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and my meniscus [cartilage in her knee]. It was the last week of the season,” explained Stewart, who was on crutches with a knee brace as she watched her soccer teammates practice on Monday morning.
“Sometimes, you just step the wrong way. I was going to the ball and [my knee] went in the wrong direction,” said the 6-foot-2 Stewart. “It happens.
“It’s a bummer. To have this happen right now is an unfortunate time. But I’m lucky because I still have my senior year,” said Stewart, who added that she is rehabilitating the knee.
Stewart said the surgery went well but, in addition to missing the soccer season, she is skeptical about a possible return for the end of basketball season.
“But I’ll be ready for softball season,” she said.
“When I found out, I was sick to my stomach,” said Bangor soccer coach Joe Johnson. “It was tough. But she seems back in good spirits and she has another year.”
Sophomore Emily Gilmore, who transferred from Brewer High, and freshman Maddie Hodgdon will vie for the starting job in goal, according to Johnson.
Despite a very limited soccer background, the athletic Stewart won the starting goalkeeping job near the end of last season and helped the Rams earn a berth in the Class A state game, where she turned in an impressive 10-save performance in a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Scarborough.
She followed that up with a memorable basketball season, as the center led the Rams in points (16 per game), rebounds (11) and blocked shots (4) and was chosen the Most Valuable Player of the Eastern Maine Class A tournament.
Stewart teamed with Bangor Daily News All-Maine schoolgirl third-team pick Mary Butler and dynamic guard Denae Johnson to lead Bangor to its first EM basketball title since 1982.
Stewart pitched a no-hitter in softball last spring and was a key offensive contributor as Bangor reached the EM title game.
It is the second straight season in which the Ram soccer team has lost a key player to a season-ending knee surgery.
Shutdown left back Tiffany Gray missed last season due to a knee injury suffered in a summer soccer league tournament game in Rhode Island for Black Bear United.
Gray is back for her senior year this fall.