Hailey Mazzola knew right away.
It was the most routine of plays on March 12 on the Broomfield home turf against Niwot. Mazzola jumped up to get her head on a corner kick, was bumped in the air, and before she even came down the damage was done.
“I guess my leg was in the right place at the right time,” said Mazzola, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL in her right knee on Thursday March 19. “I knew right away what it was.”
Surprising, given that Mazzola had never previous suffered any sort of injury during her soccer career.
And it didn’t take Broomfield trainer Dan Rosseau long to diagnose the problem, either. A few quick tests on the bench was all he needed to perform before breaking the bad news to coach Jim Davidson.
“She is devastated, but also paradoxically is in good spirits and realizes the challenge in front of her and has accepted the fact that she is going to have to rehab hard,” said Davidson, whose team is off to a 4-0 start this season and 1-0 in its first season in the Front Range League. “She knows what is going on and she is probably going to grieve over it, but she is doing pretty well in spite of the nature of it.”
News of the injury made its way to the University of Arizona staff as well, where Mazzola has already signed to play at the next level. The decision has already been made for Mazzola to go ahead and redshirt her first season in Tucson.
Mazzola will start her rehab in two weeks, trying to get as much motion in the knee as possible during her stints at physical therapy.
“I’ve trained and lifted in preparation for college and I think that going into (rehab) I will take that mentality to push myself,” she said. “(Arizona) has been totally supportive of the situation, which has been really nice.”
Mazzola hates to lose out on her senior season at Broomfield, but also understands that everything happens for a reason.
“I’d like to think that it is a blessing in disguise because it kind of happened at a weird time,” said Mazzola, who is facing a six-month recovery time before she can get back on the field.
Ever the team captain, Mazzola asked her mother if she could be at Broomfield’s game against Greeley West on the night after her surgery.
Despite the fact she won’t be able to contribute on the field, Mazzola will be just as much an asset to Davidson and the Eagles on the bench in the role of a pseudo assistant coach.
“I’m going to be out there all the time and even at practices, I’m going to be there and still be a part of the team,” she said. “Jim definitely wants me to be that assistant coach type figure.”
Said Davidson, whose team returns to play after spring break on Mar. 31 at Loveland: “The absence of Hailey looms large, there is no question and you don’t quite replace a player like that, we’ll just have to be different. We’ve got good enough players, and we will adapt. They’ve accepted the fact they they are all going to have to step up, because Hailey is a unique player.”
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