If you pressed the rewind button to the afternoon of Jan. 21, the thought of St. Anthony's attack Kerrin Maurer darting around a lacrosse field on a mid-April afternoon would seem foolish to some, overly optimistic to others.
Yet, in her fifth game back, she and her Friars teammates outscored undefeated powerhouse Farmingdale, 16-12, in a non-league home girls game.
Back on that January day, Maurer, three basketball teammates and a fellow classmate were in a car that was broadsided on Route 110 on their way to practice. Maurer suffered a fractured ankle, two hip fractures, and spent a week in the hospital.
The initial prognosis did not bode well for her athletic future.
"The doctors told me I would be lucky if I played this season," Maurer said. "I wanted to show [them] that I wouldn't be out the whole season."
She returned April 7 and scored 20 goals in her first four games of the season. Against Farmingdale, she added another five goals, despite playing at only "70 percent."
Yesterday's game proved to be a competitive affair as Farmingdale (5-1) jumped to an early 3-1 lead. St. Anthony's answered right back as Chrissy Schreiber's first goal of the season made it 3-2.
Maurer tied it on a rifle through the crease with 16:53 remaining in the half, and the Friars (6-1) then took command. They took an 8-6 halftime advantage, and though the Dalers fought back time and again, the lead did not shrink.
Friars coach Connie Broesler spelled out the importance of upending their public school rival. "I know that we deserve to be among the top teams in the nation," Broesler said. "Today made a statement."
Melanie Raso led the way for the Dalers with four goals, and sophomore attack Alyssa Cardillo notched two goals and two assists.
For Farmingdale, ranked No. 1 in the nation after the 2009 season, this might prove to be the season's turning point. "We were all over the place, but it was a good game," Cardillo said. "Losing helps you more, helps you win, and improve whatever mistakes you made."
As a means to preserve the wear and tear on her ankle and hip, Maurer moved from midfield to attack this season. She prefers midfield, but ultimately, stepping back on the field remained the priority.
The journey back started in that hospital room, where the outpouring of support helped buoy her recovery. "When you are in the hospital, and you just see teammate after teammate come in, it makes you know that they want you back and they care."
Still, she had a chip on her shoulder, a need to buck convention and medical logic. "I wanted to prove to everyone that I'm tough, and that I will come back from this accident."