BANGOR, Maine — Less than three months after breaking her right leg and undergoing surgery, Bangor High School standout Lauren Young has returned to action for the soccer team.
Young made her season’s debut in a 4-1 win over Mt. Blue of Farmington on Oct. 3 and also played in Tuesday’s 8-0 win over Cony High of Augusta. She scored a goal against Cony.
Young missed Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Camden Hills because she was taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
The speedy and tenacious senior defender played 10 to 12 minutes against Mt. Blue and approximately 40 minutes against Cony.
Young suffered a broken tibia and fibula while playing in a national soccer tournament in Indiana for her Seacoast United travel team the last week of July and had surgery the same day.
“It feels good. It feels weak some days but most days it feels strong,” said Young. “I limp a little bit when I run but it’s not that it hurts or anything. I just don’t have all of my coordination back.”
Young, a three-year starter entering this season, has a titanium rod from her knee to her ankle and screws to hold it in place.
She said the most difficult aspect of her comeback has been the mental aspect of the game.
“I’m so used to being such an independent person and so stubborn and doing what I want to do when I want to do it. This has kind of been a delay to everything that I wanted to do,” said Young.
She said that when she first returned to the lineup there was some trepidation.
“But then I realized once I was out there how strong my leg is. I kind of underestimated it a little bit. I went out there thinking, ‘Oh, you can’t do this, this and this,” said Young. “But the things I was timid about I made up for in another sense. If I was too timid going for a tackle, I would put my body against the player and just slow the play down so somebody else could go do it for me or.
“I have other ways of compensating for it,” added Young.
Bangor coach Joe Johnson said he didn’t expect Young to return this fall.
“Not with the severity of it,” he said.
But he knew if someone was capable of coming back, the tireless Young would be the one. She worked out independently from the the team as she rehabilitated the leg.
“She has the temperament to be able to put some of the hard things behind her as far as the fear that comes into recovering from one of these,” said Johnson. “It’s unbelievable how hard she has been willing to sacrifice to get where she is.”
Johnson said he wouldn’t have played her if she hadn’t been cleared by the doctors, the trainer and her parents.
“I’ve got the rod in there so it won’t break again,” said Young. “I’m just trying to build my muscle up as much as I can.”
Young, also a point guard on the Rams’ basketball team, said she never doubted that she would be back this fall.
“I thought it would be sooner because of my personality,” she said.
Johnson said Young is probably playing at “60 to 70 percent” of her capabilities but is improving every day.
“She is still very quick. But there are some situational things like cutting that aren’t where they would normally be because the muscle memory hasn’t come back to where she can do everything she wants to do yet,” explained Johnson.
Young said she “isn’t as close as I want to be” to 100 percent and her goal is to being able to play the entire game.
Bangor junior back Abby Houghton said it is great to have Young back for her leadership qualities as well as her talent.
“It’s awesome. It’s great to hear her voice on the field again encouraging the team. It really helps,” said Houghton, who added that she has been an inspiration to the team.
The Rams, Class A North finalist a year ago and 8-3-1 this fall entering Thursday’s game against Skowhegan, also have regained the services of influential junior midfielder-back Bella Varisco (concussion) and freshman striker and scoring threat Riley Andrews (appendix).
Camden Hills moves to the top
The defending state Class A champion Camden Hills girls soccer team had a memorable four days earlier this week.
It began with a 4-0 home win over Bangor, the Windjammers’ Class A North championship game opponent the past two years, and was capped by a 5-3 victory at previously undefeated Brunswick on Tuesday.
Meredith Messer’s Windjammers, 11-0-1, took over the top spot in the Heal Points standings entering Thursday’s game at Hampden Academy. They were looking for their 11th straight win.
The only blemish on their record was a 2-2 tie at Bangor on Sept. 7.
Brunswick, 11-1-0, dropped to second and Bangor to third.