Hammond senior forward Katie Fink and Wilde Lake junior goalie Sarah Hobart suffered season-ending soccer injuries in games earlier this week.
Fink, one of the county's fastest players, is out after the fibula in her right leg was broken in a tackle by Wilde Lake sweeper Katie Kurcz minutes into their game Tuesday at Wilde Lake. Hobart was taking a goal kick when she cracked her pelvis during a CSC Ravens club match Sunday.
Fink, who had four goals and an assist for the 12th-ranked Golden Bears (5-0 overall, 1-0 league), was running down the left side when Kurcz slid on the wet grass to break up the play. "As I'm falling, she fell right on top of my leg," Fink said. "I hear it crack, then feel this massive explosion of pain."
Said Hammond coach Peter De Marico: "There was no malicious intent from the Wilde Lake player. The other player fell and literally sat on her leg, and it snapped. It's one of those freak accidents that turned out with a very bad result."
Fink, who is being recruited to play in college, said that "this is utterly the worst timing. The sad thing is that there's nobody to blame. It's not Katie's fault; it's not my fault. It's really frustrating."
Di Marco, whose team plays host to 13th-ranked Centennial today, called Fink's loss "a major setback. She was more than just a goal scorer. She was a senior captain with experience."
But, said the coach, whose defense hasn't allowed a goal, her absence will "force other players to step up. We'll have to maintain our positive attitude."
Hobart's injury, which Fink saw as a Ravens teammate, did not involve a collision.
"I was taking a goal kick," said Hobart. "I planted my left foot, and as soon as my right foot went through the ball, I felt something snap in my hip area, and I just went down."
At Howard County General Hospital, Hobart was told she probably had sprained her hip. Her orthopedist, Dr. Joseph Ciotola, saw something else Monday.
"He found a crack along my growth plate," said Hobart, who was in school yesterday. "He said it was a common injury among soccer and football players."
Hobart, sharing goalie duties with senior Edna Dash, had played two games this season.
"Sarah's one of the most intense players I've ever coached," said Wilde Lake coach Marcy Leonard. "She's a very strong technical keeper, and there's no doubt we'll miss her."
Hobart is a hard-working, spirited athlete who has battled adversity throughout her high school career. A thyroid condition kept her from trying out for soccer as a freshman, and an anterior-cruciate ligament injury playing summer basketball between her freshman and sophomore years cost her the last soccer season.
Wearing a brace on her right knee, Hobart played varsity basketball last winter, but she missed some games because of the injury. She could not have the ACL repaired, her doctor said, because her growth plates were not closed.
"I'm hoping it's [the knee surgery] as soon as possible," said Hobart, who tore her ACL as she was making a pass. "I just want to get that over with."
The injury to her pelvis will just take rest and time to repair.
"This was more painful then the ACL," said Hobart. "I just couldn't move, it hurt so bad."
Hobart said her latest setback is "going to make me stronger in the end, but it's not what I want."
She wants to play soccer in college and looks forward to an injury-free senior season.
It's only the season's second league game for Long Reach, but coach Kelly Snyder calls today's visit by Mount Hebron a "must win" situation.
"There's nothing else to say," she said.
Long Reach (3-1-1 overall, 0-0-1 league) has county title aspirations, and a loss or another tie could hurt its chances.
The Vikings (3-3-1, 2-0) beat Long Reach in the last two regional finals. Outplayed in in last year's championship, the Vikings won in a penalty-stroke shootout. Long Reach remembers.
Shortly after top-ranked Centennial lost to fourth-ranked River Hill Monday night, senior Beth Stradling reminded teammates that the Eagles lost to Mount Hebron early last season and still won their seventh state title in eight years.
"We have some time," Stradling said, and Centennial coach Mike Bossom agreed: "I know all the mistakes, and things we did are fixable. We just have to work hard to fix them."
Centennial, which trounced Glenelg Wednesday, will play host to River Hill Oct. 20.
Pub Date: 10/01/99