Thursday was a bittersweet homecoming for Berkley Gamble.
The 2012 graduate of Fairview had expected to make a triumphant return to her hometown this weekend, which Gamble figured would be one of the highlights of her freshman campaign with the University of Washington women’s soccer team.
Gamble will be at Prentup Field when the Huskies face CU on Friday at 3 p.m., but instead of contributing to Washington’s defense, Gamble will be hobbling along the sideline, anchored by a bulky knee brace. Gamble tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during a training session on Aug. 5 and underwent surgery a little more than three weeks later, shelving her for the entire season.
“I’m sad I can’t play, especially since it’s in Boulder,” Gamble said. “But I guess I’ll just have to wait to have that experience in two years.”
It was not the first time Gamble has suffered an ACL tear, as she endured the same injury on her right knee two years ago during her junior year at Fairview. Other than the final diagnosis, however, Gamble says this experience has been entirely different.
“The first time I tore my ACL, I wanted to have my leg cut off it hurt so bad,” Gamble said. “This time, I really felt fine. I didn’t think anything was torn. I was walking around the next day, even though it was swollen. Of course I had an MRI and it showed the tear.”
Gamble, who helped Fairview capture the 2010 Class 5A state championship and also led the Knights to the 5A title game last spring, is taking a medical redshirt this season to retain her four years of eligibility. Because injured players are not typically included in the travelling parties at the Division I level, Gamble said her parents paid her way home this weekend so she could attend her new team’s game in her old hometown.
“It’s good to be back, I just wish I could play,” Gamble said. “The college game is definitely faster, and every practice is more intense.”
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