Leopard soccer plagued by injuries

Campus Times
October 10, 2003

photo by Sylvia Castellanos

Claremont's Erin McLendon (No. 10) and La Verne's AJ Taggart (No. 23) battle for the ball in the second half of the women's soccer game on Saturday, where La Verne lost to Claremont 2-0.

by Max Zänker
Staff Writer

Two injuries resulted in two losses for the University of La Verne women's soccer team against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Redlands.

Saturday at Ben Hines Field, the Leopards lost forward Amy Quesenberry to a broken tibia and fibula and midfielder Chelsea Riggins to a sprained knee.

"When a major injury like this happens, it is hard to find your way back into the game," said head coach Wendy Zwissler. "This nagging in the back of your head always remains and you don't enter every one-on-one situation with full motivation."

Only seven minutes into the game against CMS, Quesenberry released a shot that was blocked by her opponent. Their legs met and the powerful clash lifted her off her feet. She hit the ground so hard that the injury could be heard on the sidelines.

The shock of the injury hit the Leopards like a punch in the stomach, leaving them breathless on the field, losing the match, 2-0.

Four days later, in their home game against Redlands, the team lost 4-1, dropping its season's record to 2-3.

Quesenberry will miss the rest of the season. The junior had a great start into the season with three goals in as many games, scoring the game-winning goals against Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran.

"It is very early in the season, but it is always a big shock when you lose good players. We will have to deal with that," Zwissler said.

Riggins will be out for only a couple of weeks.

After Quesenberry's injury, the Leopards had their eyes on the sideline and their thoughts with their teammate, so CMS took control of the game.

At halftime the score stood 0-0. Zwissler told her players to "go out and play hard," but she soon recognized that her team was not able to stand Claremont's physical game.

"Sometimes when you're hit hard, you don't want to go on fighting any more," she said.

As the teams re-entered the field, Claremont increased their physical exertion and goalkeeper Victoria Hentges had to step up to keep her goal clean.

Just when ULV found its way back into one-on-one situations and into the game, CMS midfielder Laura Maurer shocked the Leopards with the go-ahead goal, making the score 1-0.

Maurer overcame Hentges with a 19-yard chip, fooling the ULV goalie in the 62nd minute.

The loss of transition, structure and control peaked in the 79th minute, as Jacqueline Garcia tainted her performance with an own goal, making the score 2-0 for the Athenas.

She pushed a pass from CMS forward Nicole Escalmado over the line past her own defender.

"The main problem was that our transition stopped working and we did not play well together as a team any more," said forward Courtney Lowry.

Quesenberry watched Wednesday's game against Redlands from the sideline.

The visiting Bulldogs left the Leopards no time to for dealing with the new situation, as midfielder Heather Hodges made the score 1-0 in the third minute.

Searching for the transition for the rest of the first half, ULV did not manage to put something countable on the field until freshman Amber Lejay scored the tying goal, bringing the score to 1-1 on a pass from defender Katherine Ford in the 53rd minute.

Fifteen minutes later, Redlands' Ashley West, Lauren Margentic and Katie McKee pushed the score to the final 4-1.