Lady Tiger Soccer Dealt Setback With Two Season Ending Injuries
Sept. 22, 2009
Memphis, Tenn. -
"Not only is it hard to lose one big-time player, but to lose two is devastating," said head coach Brooks Monaghan. "These two play the same position for us."
Laufenberg was injured during practice last week and suffered a torn ACL. Due to the time of the injury, it is expected that Laufenberg will be granted a medical redshirt.
"First of all, it's a huge loss, not just as a player because Laufenberg is a big time player, but she was our captain," Monaghan said.
Junior forward Melissa Smith will also miss the remainder of the season due to a torn MCL. Smith is scheduled to undergo surgery next week and will return next season for the Lady Tigers with two years of eligibility remaining.
"Melissa came in to fall camp in great shape and we had high expectations for her this season. It's a sad thing to see her have to sit but the positive is that we will have her back for the next two years," Monaghan said. "We need to step up in several different areas now and one of those is leadership because Laufenberg was the leader on and off the field. We need the team to come together and step up. Hopefully, somebody will arise as the leader on the team. As a player, Laufenberg is irreplaceable. It forces us to play somebody that is not used to playing that position. We put Julia Ignacio in that position last weekend and she did a great job. We feel that (Ignacio) can get it done."
Laufenberg had started in all six games for the Lady Tigers prior to games played Sept. 18th. Laufenberg posted an assist this season in the 4-0 win over UALR on Aug. 26th.
Smith posted her best performance of her career on Sept. 20th, posting 10 shots in the 4-0 win over Evansville. Smith notched a goal and an assist in the game and became only the second player in school history to record 10 shots in a game (Shelly Heinz vs. CBU 1995).
"The positive to all of this is that we get these kids back, they don't lose a year (of eligibility)," Monaghan said. "If you are going to get hurt, you want to get hurt in the first half of the season. Obviously, our focus is on this season, but it's exciting to know that we will have both of these kids back on next year's roster."
The Lady Tigers will look for leadership and cohesion when conference play begins at 4 pm Friday in Hattiesburg, Miss., against the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss.