Soccer player Brannan injured, out for final game

Soccer player Brannan injured, out for final game

Junior Brianna Brannan suffered a broken ankle during the game against Montana on Oct. 12.

Brannan went down after colliding with a Montana player, but goalkeeper Jamie Walker helped her back onto her feet.

“All I remember is that we both went in for a tackle and hit the ball at the same time.” This all happened seconds into the game against Montana, but Brannan did not leave the game until much later. “I did it 42 seconds into the game and went out four minutes after it, so at least I went out with a bang,” Brannan said.

Although Brannan admitted she should have left the game immediately, she did not want to stop playing. “I probably should have went out, but I just kept playing,” Brannan said. “I’m really stubborn, so I just wanted to be out there.”

When Brannan left the game, she was asked what her pain tolerance was on a scale of one to ten. Rather than answering with a number, Brannan said, “I’m going back in.”

Brannan did not return to the game after finding out her injury was much more serious than initially thought. “Originally we thought she sprained her ankle,” Hageage said. “When she was trying to walk it off, I figured it was a really bad sprain.”

The soccer team is no stranger to dealing with injuries. “We’ve had a lot of injuries this year,” said head coach George Hageage. “I think injuries are just part of the game.”

According to FIFA, ankle injuries are among the four most common soccer injuries, along with knee, hamstring, and head
injuries.

However, Brannan said that her ankle injury is the first real injury she has ever had in her soccer career. “I hurt my wrist a while back, but I played through the whole game with it broken and the next week I was playing with a cast on,” Brannan said.

Coach Hageage was impressed with Brannan’s desire to play through injuries. “It’s amazing she lasted that long out there on the field,” Hageage said. “[She’s] real tough.”

Brannan is trying to transfer that level of physical toughness into mental strength. Initially, she said she felt like she was disappointing her team through her inability to keep playing. “Instantly I felt like I let the team down. I consider myself a really big leader,” Brannan said.

Since the game on Oct. 12, Brannan has decided to become the team’s biggest cheerleader. “I have the most faith in these girls. I want to be out there helping them, but I’m just trying to stay positive,” Brannan said. “I’m going to be the biggest cheerleader. I’ll text them words of wisdom.”

Brannan already has some words of wisdom for her team: “We all wish we were in their spot, so I just don’t want them to take it for granted because anything can happen.”

Rather than dwell on her injury, Brannan is already looking forward to how it can make her better. “I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason. I think it’s going to make me a stronger player,” Brannan said. “I really just want to go through rehab, get this done, and get back on the field.”

Until then, Brannan will be cheering her team on as they finish out the season. “[Our goals] are getting these next two games in the win column,” said Hageage. “We’re in a position where if we win our next games, we’ll have a winning record, and that’s a huge improvement over last year.”