Soccer Loses Key Player to Familiar Knee Injury

The University of Tampa women’s soccer team lost a valuable component of its team on Oct. 4 against Lynn University.

Sophomore Caroline Spencer, while defending a throw along the near sideline, went down.  “I was reaching out to kick the ball with my right foot,” she said, “and [my knee] somehow popped out.”

For Spencer this is an injury which she has had to deal with in the past. “I had the feeling that I had before,” said Spencer.

While the MRI results have not been confirmed, Spencer is certain the injury is a season-ending torn ACL.

“I’ve already torn both [knees] before,” she said. “This is my third one. So I’m pretty sure it’s done.”

Freshmen Katie LaPorta and Callan Hoerdemann will likely be Spencer’s replacements.  “I think that they are ready,” Spencer said. “They are both so close to scoring so many goals. I think they are the right people who should be there.”

The team is very young, with only two seniors on the team: Sage Steinmetz and Brazilian Renata Figueira.

“Next year we will be a lot stronger,” said head coach Gerry Lucey. “We’ll be bringing in about ten or 12 more players.”

Spencer hopes to recover and be able to play during her junior year.

NCAA rules it is too late to get a medical redshirt, so she will lose the remainder of this year. Of the recovery she said, “it’s hard, but it is manageable. Hopefully I can be ready for next year.”

Luana Miessa, a junior transfer, was declared ineligible by NCAA rules before the start of this season.

Miessa started all 16 matches with Sam Houston State University, as a sophomore, and scored 10 goals. She also amassed a total of 28 points before transferring to UT.

Miessa was declared ineligible by the NCAA because it was ruled she had already used this year of eligibility.

“Unfortunately [the rule] was interpreted a different way by them,” said Lucey. “So unfortunately for her, she had to pretty much not play from the end of the 2008 season until the beginning of the 2010 season.”

The Brazilian, Miessa, would have brought a different element as a tenured striker to UT.

Surprisingly, Tampa is outshooting its opponents by a total of 215-114. UT also leads in the corner kick department by a total of 78-38.

Clearly the Spartans are getting the opportunities to score, they are just having difficulties putting teams away.

Although the team’s record of 5-7-1, 1-2 SSC Tampa is by no means out of it.

“Out of the six spots that are available, four of them are sewn up,” said Lucey. “We still have a chance because we play such a tough schedule.”

Kyle can be reached at

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