It hasn’t been easy.
But the St. Hubert High School soccer team has endured one battle after another in hopes of earning a place in the Catholic League playoffs.
They’ve won some. They’ve lost some. But the Bambies keep coming back for more.
St. Hubert is 8-6-2 on the season. They broke a four-game losing streak on Friday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Cheltenham. On Monday, the Bambies lost to longtime rival Little Flower High School, 2-1.
“Every game is a big game. Every game counts,” said forward Gina Sgrillo, a senior. “We have to win one at a time and take it from there. We know it’s going to be physical. I think everyone is confident that we have a really good chance of winning.”
Sgrillo knows a thing or two about persistence.
A four-year soccer player at St. Hubert, she severely injured the medial collateral ligament in her left knee during her sophomore season. The recovery was lengthy, and she was forced to the sideline for half the season.
Six weeks ago, it nearly happened again. To the same knee.
“It happened right after tryouts. I just turned my knee the wrong way and it twisted,” recalled Sgrillo. “I had to go to physical therapy. My doctor said if it didn’t get better, I would have to get an MRI and possibly surgery, but it didn’t get to that point.”
After three weeks of physical rehabilitation, Sgrillo was cleared to practice alongside her teammates once again. A week later, she appeared in her first game.
“I feel better. My knee feels a lot stronger,” she said. “It felt great to get back out there. It was annoying sitting on the bench. It’s my senior year and I was so excited for this year, so I’m happy to be back.”
Sgrillo has netted five goals since her return on Sept. 14. She scored a season-high two goals in the Bambies’ 8-0 win over Neumann-Goretti on Sept. 20.
“Gina has been doing a nice job,” said head coach Mickey McGroarty. “She’s had her ups and downs because of her injury, but she’s playing well.”
The Bambies have experienced their own highs and lows this season. The squad dominated the first half of the season, losing just once in the first 10 games. They hit a rough patch in October. St. Hubert has lost five of its last six games; in three of them, the Bambies were shut out.
“We’re in all the games, and a lot of them we should have won. We’re doing OK,” said McGroarty.
St. Hubert’s last regular-season game was slated for today (Oct. 20) against Cardinal O’Hara.
“I hope that we finish as good as we started. We have worked so hard. I hope that we do well,” said junior forward Claire Alminde. “As a team, we really all get along this year. We’re close as a team.”
Alminde gave up her usual midfield responsibilities this season to fill a vacant spot in the front. The player, a three-year competitor for the Bambies’ soccer, basketball and softball teams, has scored five goals this season.
As they looked toward that last game in the regular season, the Bambies still had hopes for a berth in postseason play.
“If we play up to our full potential, we have a good chance of winning,” said McGroarty. “We’re capable of being a real good team, but real good teams know how to finish. We’re kind of erratic in that.” ••
Editor Melissa Yerkov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org