As she witnessed her twin sister tear her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in a high school soccer game four years ago, Brittney Evans hoped she would be lucky enough never be in that situation.
After having a standout freshman year in 2005 as a forward on the University of Tampa women’s soccer team with 12 goals and six assists, Evans was awarded with second team all-conference honors and assisted in leading the team to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.
She had no idea her preparation and hard training for the 2006 season would be short lived as she found herself in the same position her sister was in a few years ago only four short days into preseason.
During an intrasquad scrimmage one night after a long day of multiple practices, Evans landed awkwardly as she attempted to jump over a sliding defender while dribbling the ball down the sideline.
“Everyone knew something bad had happened the second she landed. It was very awkward looking and she couldn’t stop screaming and holding her knee,” junior midfielder Maria Mohammed said.
Two weeks later she had ACL reconstruction and lateral menisectomy surgery, and after 13 months, Evans is still recovering.
She also had a second procedure done a few months ago to clean up some the previous surgery. The recovery from the second surgery should have been less, as it was done through the same hole left from the first surgery.
“Her body may have produced an excessive amount of scar tissue that limited her range of motion,” said head athletic trainer Scott Brickett. “Due to her desire to improve and return to the field she may have exceeded her limitations, causing herself greater harm and setting her back even further.”
Because the team lost two of their three starting forwards last year, they are really excited to get her back on the field, confident that she will start back where she left off two years ago.
“Brittney was one of the best playmakers on the field, and we could always look to her to make things happen,” said junior goal keeper Shannon Aitken. “Losing her was hard on all of us, and although we have adjusted since then we know she is going to do great things for us when she comes back.”
Evans’ expected date of return is Oct. 15, but might get to see the field as early as Sept. 29 when the team faces conference opponent Lynn University at home for the first time in four weeks.