Girls’ soccer ready to hit fieldMorgan Karras prides herself on being a competitor and a leader by example. Both of those attributes will be tested this spring, as she will be forced to watch her Raider soccer teammates from the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury playing basketball.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Morgan Karras prides herself on being a competitor and a leader by example. Both of those attributes will be tested this spring.
Karras, a multi-sport athlete who has earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors in both tennis and soccer, and qualified for the state tennis tournament last fall, tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her knee while playing for the Raider basketball team this winter. The injury not only ended her basketball season, but will also force her to spend her senior season of soccer watching from the sidelines.
That hasn’t stopped Karras from doing whatever she can to help the team. She’ll still serve as one of the Raiders’ co-captains, along with fellow seniors Ashley Johnson and Tessa Bakken, and play the role of assistant coach, manager, statistician…whatever the team needs.
“I’ll do whatever I can to help people out,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a very positive year. The girls’ efforts and attitudes are very positive and I just want to be part of the team.”
Karras had surgery on her knee five weeks ago and won’t be able to run for at least another month. She said she’s about four months away from any soccer activity. She said the hardest part of her ordeal has been watching from the sidelines.
“I’m so competitive,” she said. “Not being able to go out there and kill the ball into the net will be hard. And I’m usually a leader by example. Now I’ll have to get used to leading from the sideline.”
Karras was named to the All-BRC second team last season when the Raiders finished with a record of 10-6-1. In her role as assistant this year to new head coach John Knutson, she said she sees plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
“It’s a new year, new season, new team, new coaching staff; everyone’s excited,” she said. “I think depth will be one of our strengths. And every game we’re going to bring up a JV player to play a couple of minutes.”
While Karras won’t be taking the field, the Raiders return a number of key players from last year’s squad, including junior MacKenzie Buck, an All-BRC second team pick along with Karras in 2010, and senior goalkeeper Tessa Bakken, an honorable mention selection to the 2010 All-BRC team.
Seniors Johnson, Paige Ommen and Ilse Wolbank are also back, as is junior Alyssa Claflin and sophomores Nicole Mara and Alyssa Muller.
The Raiders opened the 2011 season Tuesday at Eau Claire Memorial and will travel to Menomonie Thursday, April 14. Their home opener is slated for Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. against defending BRC champion River Falls.