The Wheaton soccer teams dominated the fields last Wednesday, Sept. 11 with a victory from both teams. Both the men and the women managed to shut out the opposing teams. The women stayed home, winning over Bridgewater with an impressive 7-0 score.
The women’s game was especially uplifting for one senior, Katharine Chura ‘20. Over two years ago, in August of 2017, Chura suffered a major concussion that left her unable to play or even complete necessary schoolwork. She took a semester off and returned in the Fall of 2018. This being her seventh concussion, her neurologist was not sure she could ever play again. “I returned to school fall of 2018 and remained on the team, but with no intention of ever being cleared to play soccer again.”
By November of 2018, Chura was ahead of her recovery schedule. It was made clear to her neurologist, as well as those around her, that she was focused and ready to play the sport she so loved once again. She returned to school this year with excitement for this season, “my goal was to simply provide aid in the team’s effort to win a championship,” said Chura. She could not be happier to be back with the team she adores. “Lacing up my cleats every day is a blessing I do not take for granted.”
The game this past Wednesday was vital for the team’s morale. Without a “comfortable win” as Chura put it, yet in the season, they were hoping for a victory over Bridgewater. The Wheaton women’s control of the game was clear, as they continued to hit the back of the net over and over again while Bridgewater remained scoreless.
With about twenty minutes remaining in the game, Chura heard something she had been longing for: the coach had called her name to enter the game. “To give all the emotions I was feeling walking up to half in a one word explanation,” Chura said, “eager is the word.”
Chura entered the game with the utmost motivation. The Lyons managed to get a free kick. Fellow senior Megan Darrel took it. “I remember our coaches mention the team we were playing does not cover free kicks well,” said Chura. She knew the perfect opportunity had risen. She called for the ball. The pass was perfect and Chura struck the ball with her left foot. It soared above the defense and sunk into the back of the net.
After two and a half years, Chura had finally fully overcome her struggles. From when she was told she may never play again, to scoring her first goal back, she credits the team for helping her stay in high spirits and keeping her love for the game alive.
“Scoring for my team, for the first time since my injury, revealed the type of team we have this year,” she explained, “We have a team that combines talent with heart and the drive to succeed.”
The Wheaton Women’s Soccer team has an amazing season ahead of them, and an even better championship season in sight.