When Gavin Carr suffered a broken collarbone during Brewer High School’s boys soccer match against Skowhegan nearly a month ago he was left with two options.
One was to undergo surgery that likely would enable him to return to action before the end of the regular season after three weeks of recuperation.
The second was to let the injury heal on its own, which would not allow him to resume competition until basketball season.
For Carr, who had helped the Witches get off to a solid start this fall with a team-leading seven goals in Brewer’s first four matches, the decision to undergo surgery was a no-brainer.
“The main factor was that I did want to play soccer this season, and my parents left the choice up to me because they understood what it meant to me,” Carr said.
The Witches struggled offensively during his absence, but the junior forward’s return not only has sparked the team’s goal-scoring frequency, but also has renewed its hope to qualify for the Class A North playoffs.
In his second match back since returning to game action late last week, Carr scored twice Tuesday night as Brewer defeated Bangor 4-0 on Senior Night at Doyle Field for the Witches’ first victory over its cross-river rival in recent memory.
“This was my first Bangor-Brewer soccer game,” Carr said. “It was intense, I’ll admit. We were just hyped for this game.”
Sophomore Ben Lord also scored twice as Brewer came up with a season-high for goals in a match while ending a seven-game losing streak and moving up to the ninth and final playoff spot in the Class A North Heal points with two regular-season matches remaining.
“He’s definitely a boost for the team,” Brewer coach Ben Poland said. “When we lost him, we talked a lot about finding our way and figuring things out and that one person doesn’t make a team, but I tell you it’s nice to have him back.
“He’s so committed to soccer and so committed to this group of guys that there was no doubt as soon as the doctor said surgery and three weeks I knew he’d opt for that.”
Carr suffered his injury during a fairly routine on-field collision.
“We were both going for the ball and it was shoulder-to-shoulder, and I lost my balance and landed on it wrong,” said Carr, who has started for the Witches since late in his freshman season. “I got up and looked at my athletic trainer, and I could tell that I hurt it, and I knew it was broken because I could feel it.”
Brewer managed just three goals in five matches during his absence.
“Gavin Carr coming back from his injury is a huge plus,” Brewer senior goalie Matt Mousseau said. “Having him up there gives everybody else a boost of confidence and more energy to push forward and come back and defend.”
Carr got Brewer off to a fast start in its only meeting of the season against Bangor, scoring in the 24th minute to stake the Witches to a 1-0 halftime lead.
Lord scored twice during the first 15 minutes of the second half — the second goal on the rebound of a shot by Carr — to make it 3-0 before Carr capped off the scoring by tipping home a loose ball with 11 minutes remaining before leaving the game with the Witches holding a four-goal advantage and another game looming Wednesday against Oxford Hills of South Paris.
“We came out today and played like we were supposed to and got the win,” Carr said. “That’s all that matters now.”